Suburbs In Cook County File Lawsuit Against Drug Companies, Doctors For Opioid Epidemic

Steve Miller
May 24, 2018 - 7:27 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Ten towns in Cook County have filed a lawsuit to try to get money from drug companies they say have devastated their communities by not stopping the flow of opioids.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday morning in Cook County Circuit Court follows similar suits filed by Chicago, Cook County and the collar counties.

One of the Cook County communities suing drug makers: the village of Oak Lawn. 

"It's the biggest crisis we face in our community, with respect to not having the tools to deal with it," said Oak Lawn Mayor, Sandra Bury. "How do you quantify a broken family, a destroyed marriage, a lost job?"

The lawsuit said drug makers have failed to stop opioids from flowing into communities, even though opioids have led to deaths and financial hardship for communities like Oak Lawn.

"We have so little funding for mental health in this state, mental health issues. Certainly (that) would help with any addiction issues," Bury said.

The lawsuit also names three doctors accused of prescribing opioids with reckless abandon.

Other towns included are Melrose Park, Bellwood, Berkeley, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Hillside, Northlake, River Forest and Tinley Park. Pekin, a city of 33,000 near Peoria, is the final plaintiff.