MIAMI COUNTY — The county commissioners voted Thursday to authorize a petition to appoint special prosecutors to represent the county in pursuing legal action against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“I’ve been approached by law firms all over the country on this particular issue,” Miami County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Kendall said.
The board authorized the submission of a petition fo the Miami County Court of Common Please to appoint Glen McMurry, of Dungan and LeFevre, Yvonne Flaherty and David Asp of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, and Amanda Williams and David Goodwin of Gustafson Gluek as special prosecutors.
“It will be something that is right here on our doorstep. I can monitor it and I can weigh in on it and I won’t have to talk to somebody who is states and states away,” Kendall said.
The team would represent the county against wholesale distributors, manufacturers and other participants in distribution that have intentionally or unlawfully failed to “monitor detect, refuse and report suspicious oders of prescription opiates as well as performing illegal or negligent other acts or omissions.”
The potential litigation would be based on the financial burden posed by the costs of providing medical care for people suffering from opioid-related addiction, the costs of providing treatment and rehabilitation services, law enforcement costs, and the costs associated with providing care for children whose parents suffer from addiction.
“What this is, is it’s really enforcing the right that the county has to be able to be free of this nuisance,” McMurry told the commissioners Thursday.
McMurry said the team will work with the county’s health department, children’s services, law enforcement and local government to “craft remedies that are best suited to Miami County and its residents.”
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the board of commissioners voted to appoint a team of special prosecutors. This is incorrect. The board voted to approve a petition requesting the appointment of such a team.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.