A proposal to opt-out of its share of the state’s national settlement over the opioid crisis. The City-County Council voted last night. Moreover, the decision is going to in fact mean the city government will go ahead and pursue its own lawsuits against opioid manufacturers independently.
Millions Going Toward Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
The state of Indiana is expecting to receive more than $700 million going toward combating the opioid epidemic.
A firm representing Indianapolis and the county in the independent lawsuits, Cohen & Malad, says a recent state law has stated that Indiana’s cities and countries will only get 15 % of the total settlement money. Moreover, any additional money from the state will be in control of the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration to, in fact, decide how and where it’s allocating.
Proposal: The Future is Unknown
“There is no crystal ball and none of us have one. Therefore, we can not predict the future,” says Richard Shevitz, an attorney at Cohen & Malad. However, I think that is the considerations the cities and counties are facing.”
Proposal: Local Communities are Screwed out of Money
$217 million settlement with tobacco companies in 2014 is not money that reached the local community. Shevitz also emphasized the importance of local communities being allowed to choose how the money is used.
“Jail populations have expanded we have encountered. The coroner’s offices had to rent out temporary facilities just to house the bodies. That is because they couldn’t get them in time and moreover hires additional staff. Moreover, I think we are getting value from the money into the hands of the local community. Thus allowing them to make these tough decisions.”
214 people have died due to opioid overdoses in Marion County in 2014. This number is more than any other counties in the state. Information was provided by the Indiana State Department of Health.
In 2017, Indianapolis first filed its lawsuit at the height of the opioid epidemic in the Midwest.