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Hamilton County hires outside lawyer for suit against opioid distributors

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 15:39:43-05

CINCINNATI -- The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners named an outside lawyer in the county's lawsuit against opioid distributors, the board announced Wednesday. 

Paul T. Farrell Jr., of Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey, & Tweel, will pursue litigation against wholesale opioid distributors on behalf of Hamilton County. 

Over the past six months, dozens of county governments in Kentucky and Ohio have sued three major drug companies, alleging they're responsible, in part, for the region's opioid problem.

Cincinnati filed a lawsuit on August 15 against Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. and McKesson Corp. Hamilton County joined the suit a day later. At least 23 Ohio counties and 42 Kentucky counties have filed lawsuits against the three distributors since July.   

In addition to ravaging families and the community, the heroin epidemic has rained government resources, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said.

“We have tried to address the epidemic in Hamilton County, but all of what we have done costs money and there’s a huge strain on the budget and larger community trying to provide remedies to the heroin epidemic in our community,” Driehaus said. 

Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel is the same West Virginia-based firm that is leading similar legal battles filed in its home state and elsewhere in Southwest Ohio -- including Cincinnati and Clermont and Brown counties.