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Westchester Will Sue Pharmacy Companies Linked To Opioid, Heroin Crisis

MaryJane Shimsky introduced legislation to sue pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis.
MaryJane Shimsky introduced legislation to sue pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Board of Legislators is going after Big Pharma.

The board unanimously passed legislation authorizing Westchester to join counties from across the country in suing pharmaceutical companies they say are responsible for the opioid crisis.

Eight counties -- including Dutchess, Rockland, and Orange -- allege unethical marketing practices by the pharmaceutical companies have contributed to people getting hooked on prescription painkillers and/or eventually developing a heroin addiction.

The county wants to be compensated for financial and other injuries as a result of the opioid epidemic. In Westchester, 334 people died from opioid overdoses from 2010-2015

“Nearly every person I encounter when discussing the epidemic in our backyard shares a story of a loved one they have lost, or that is fighting opioid addiction," said Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-onHudson), who introduced the legislation. "To attack this extremely destructive epidemic, we need to use every tool in our proverbial toolbox, and this is just one step. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to hold those responsible accountable.”

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