Orlando officials consider suing big pharma over opioid crisis

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando City Council on Monday is scheduled to review a lawsuit against big pharma for its part in creating and fueling the national opioid crisis.

The city is seeking financial compensation for everything from "extensive cleanup of public parks, spaces and facilities of needles and other debris" to "payments for fraudulent or medically unnecessary prescriptions and lost productivity to Orlando's workforce."

The 266-page lawsuit, which has not yet been filed, does not include a dollar figure, but it said the city is owed millions and asked for "three times (the city's) actual damages."


"Who would have thought 10 years ago that we would have to give our officers something to give to someone (and that) without (it), that person may die," Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said. "We're literally saving lives on any given week or month."

The city attorney has asked city commissioners to grant the city approval to move forward with the lawsuit.

Read: Ohio counties, 4 drug companies reach $260M settlement in opioid lawsuit

"Outside counsel has been monitoring cases filed across the country and has recommended that the city proceed with its own action to best position itself with respect to settlements being discussed," an agenda item said.

Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story.

Watch a recent episode of "Central Florida Spotlight" about the opioid crisis below:

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