Shelby County files lawsuit against opioid manufacturers

SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Shelby County is taking steps to combat opioid abuse.

The Shelby County Commission approved hiring two law firms to file suit against opioid manufacturers Monday night.

Compact 2020 was created in Shelby County to build partnerships to deal with a growing opioid crisis in the county.

"It really got our attention as we continued to see young and younger people die as a result of opioid abuse," Compact 2020 Director Alan Miller said.

The county commission voting to sue drug manufacturers because of the county's growing cost of combating opioid addiction from law enforcement to deaths.

"The entire effect of it will be heard for generations to come. We in effect losing substantial portions, particular younger people who are addicted," Shelby County Attorney Butch Ellis said.

Ellis hopes the lawsuit will lead to a change in how drug companies distribute their products in the county and across the country.

"Improper manufacturing and distribution practices and we hope these lawsuits including Shelby County's modify that behavior," Ellis said.

Miller, an assistant Shelby County District Attorney says the crisis hit some county families hard. The addiction has a devastating impact on families.

Families try to handle this on their own and they don't know where to seek help," Miller said.

Jere Beasley's law firm, Beasley Allen in Montgomery, has also been hired to litigate the case.

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