Kankakee joins opioid lawsuit
KANKAKEE — Kankakee recently joined the class action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors filed in July in the Cook County Circuit Court.
Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong noted there is no cost to the city to join the suit and if successful in terms of a judgment, the money would be used for opioid addiction education and treatment.
The suit is similar to the one successfully filed several years ago against the tobacco industry.
The city council approved the city’s participation in suit by a 13-0 vote.
Other municipalities involved in the city include Orland Park, Harvey, Hoffman Estates, Maywood, Peoria, North Riverside, Chicago Ridge, Dolton, River Grove and Broadview.
Kankakee County experienced 56 drug overdose deaths in 2017, which was a county record. Thus far this year, there have been 20 opioid related drug overdose deaths in Kankakee County.
Last year, the Kankakee County Board and the Will County Board joined a national law suit against several pharmaceutical companies.
The suit is filed against 29 defendants, many of which are pharmaceutical companies.
Estimates of the total financial impact of the past several years because of the opioid epidemic has been estimated to be $500 billion across the U.S.
The total includes the cost of providing health care, lost worker productivity and criminal justice-related costs.