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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — Lawrence County is joining other counties in Pennsylvania in legal action against pharmaceutical companies for allegedly contributing to the opioid addiction crisis.   Lawrence County commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to file the lawsuit citing a spike in local drug-related deaths.
“We just pulled the records for the past 6 months and the county did 80 forensic autopsies and the clear majority of those were people who died from opioid overdoses,” said Lawrence County Commissioner Steve Craig (D).

Lawrence County Commissioners Steve Craig, Dan Vogler, and Robert Del Signore voted to move ahead with the lawsuit.

The commission voted to officially move forward with the lawsuit during a meeting held at Westminster College in New Wilmington.

Craig explained the problem is stressing the county court system, child and youth services, first responders and law enforcement, and the coroner’s office.

“It’s just not a cost to the county, it’s a cost to the community.  Of those over 80 (deaths), those are all somebody’s mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, and child,  all lost to this crisis.

Last week neighboring Beaver County was the third local government in the state to sue pharmaceutical companies based on claims manufacturers bear responsibility for the thousands of overdoses nationally in recent years.

Most of the companies being sued have said they’re already taking steps to curb opioid abuse.

This story was produced by Justin Wilson and Brad Weaver.


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