Chippewa County will become the 29th county in Wisconsin to join a lawsuit against five major drug manufacturers.
The county board of supervisors voted nine to four to join the lawsuit Tuesday. Eau Claire County is already part of the class-action case, led by the Wisconsin Counties Association. They claim the drug companies misled the public and the medical community on the dangers of opioids. They believe they are responsible for the epidemic that has been felt throughout Wisconsin. The counties are hoping to recoup some of the cost of the epidemic, from treatment programs to emergency overdose responses.
Members who voted against the resolution had different reasons: some believed they didn't have enough information, while one said it would be like going after gun manufacturers for making guns. Most thought is was a step in the right direction.
“We really need the drug companies to be more honest with the people they are selling it to. To really know the pros and the cons,” Chippewa County Board Supervisor Kari Ives told News 18. "I felt like the drug companies know what they are doing. I mean opioids are a form of heroin, so I think this was a positive step in the right direction,” Ives explained.
The next step is for the county to submit the paperwork to formally join the lawsuit.