Portland plans to file suit against drug companies for role in city's opioid crisis

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland is looking into suing opioid companies as a way to help recoup some of the money spent fighting the city’s opioid crisis.

City councilors reached a unanimous decision Wednesday to have the Portland City Attorney file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Office said.

The goal is to recover the city dollars already spent and that will go towards fighting the opioid crisis; everything from the homelessness services for addiction to emergency response programs that handle overdoses.

“Three Oregonians die every week due to prescription opioids, and cities like Portland are on the front lines,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Drug manufacturers must be held accountable for their products, and I’m proud of our community for taking a stand against this epidemic.”

Commissioners say the lawsuit would also be a statement “calling for accountability from big pharma.”

Alongside the funding spent on the crisis, the city mentioned the impact it has on families in our community.

“Companies that have preyed on people’s suffering in pursuit of their own profit must be held accountable for the wake of devastation they have left across our communities and country,” said Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

The lawsuit will be filed in federal court in Oregon, and joins hundreds of similar suits filed on behalf of cities across the nation.

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