Indianapolis Approves Tens of millions’ Worth Proposal to Exit US Opioid Scheme – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
UPDATE: The proposal has been approved.
The decision means the city government will continue to independently pursue its own lawsuits against opioid manufacturers.
Indiana is expected to receive more than $ 700 million to fight the opioid epidemic.
Cohen & Malad, the firm that represents Indianapolis and Marion Counties in independent litigation, says a recent state law says Indiana’s cities and counties will only receive 15% of the total settlement fee. Any additional money from the state is controlled by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to decide how and where it will be allocated.
“Neither of us has a crystal ball. None of us can predict the future, ”says Richard Shevitz, attorney at Cohen & Malad. “But I think these are the considerations these cities and counties are facing.”
Shevitz cited the state’s $ 217 million deal with tobacco companies in 2014 as an example of how much of the “money failed to reach the local community.” He stressed the importance of local communities being able to choose how the money is used.
“We have found that the prison populations have expanded. There were stories of coroners having to rent out temporary facilities just to house the bodies because they couldn’t reach them on time and hire additional staff. I think the value is in putting the money in the hands of the local community and allowing them to make the tough decisions. ”
In 2020, 214 people died from opioid overdoses in Marion County, more than any other county in the state, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Indianapolis first filed its lawsuit in 2017 at the height of the Midwestern opioid epidemic.
“They were all looking for relief from pain and instead became addicted,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said at a news conference in October 2017.
The city government declined to comment on News 8 about any pending litigation. However, Shevitz said, more Indian cities and counties are expected to exit the national settlement. “Other cities and counties are looking at the same facts as here in Indianapolis, the same dynamic, and come to the same conclusion that it makes sense for them to opt out,” Schewitz said.
The Indiana attorney general says the state’s settlement will be divided into regions and the money will be distributed “per population.”
The deadline for cities and counties to get out of the state’s settlement is June 30th. You have an additional 60 days to dial back in if you wish.