Harwich Selectmen Hear Presentation on Joining Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

HARWICH – A lawsuit targeting a number pharmaceutical companies may get support from town officials in Harwich.

Selectmen are considering joining in on the suit against corporations which are alleged to be behind the region’s opioid crisis.

In a meeting last week, the board heard a presentation from Town Counsel John Giorgio who believes that the town may be able to recoup money the town has spent combatting the epidemic.

The legal effort is being spearheaded by the Massachusetts Opioid Litigation Attorneys, and includes Giorgio’s own firm, KP Law. The suit has been compared to similar efforts which targeted tobacco companies for damages incurred through smoking.

“The purpose of the lawsuit would be to establish liability and to collect damages, actual damages incurred by cities and towns and fighting the opioid epidemic,” said Giorgio.

According to Giorgio, if all goes to plan the town could be reimbursed for funds spent on public safety, overdose responses, Narcan, and abuse counseling. 

While there is no cost for the town to join in on the suit, the lawyers will take a 25% cut of any proceeds if the effort is successful.

“The litigation is structured basically as a contingent fee, so there would be absolutely no cost to the town,” explained Giorgio, “If and when there is a settlement or a judgment we will get a very, very, very small portion of that for our services.”

Harwich Selectmen did note take a vote on the matter at last week’s meeting and may revisit the matter at a later date.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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