Mayor John Ducey announced that the Township will be filing a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, based on the companies’ misrepresentations to medical providers and patients of the dangers of opioid painkillers. The Mayor has engaged the national law firm of Motley Rice, LLC to represent the Township in the lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, the law firm will not receive any payment from the Township but will instead take a percentage of any recovery from the drug manufacturers. The Township Council is expected to approve the agreement at its meeting on Tuesday.
“While we will continue our efforts to attack the heroin problem through treatment and aggressive law enforcement,” said Ducey, “we also will hold the manufacturers accountable for telling doctors and patients that opioids are not addictive. They know that’s not true.”
Ducey noted that drug overdoses in Brick have steadily increased, from 69 in 2014 to 212 in 2016. The number of overdoses so far this year is 92, which is significantly down from this same time last year. This is a direct result of the Police Department’s efforts on education, enforcement and rehabilitation through the Blue HARP (Heroin Addiction Response Program). The police have set up a drug enforcement unit to pursue dealers, while a community policing unit educates children and the public about the dangers of opioid use.
Ducey said, “We need to use every option at our disposal to fight this horrific battle. I am pleased that Motley Rice will bring its national legal expertise to our town, at no cost to our residents.”
Council President Arthur Halloran said, “The Council joins the mayor in this effort against the opioid manufacturers. These drugs have unfortunately destroyed many lives across our nation and right here in Brick.”
“We will continue this fight against heroin and opioid drugs for as long as it takes,” said Mayor Ducey. “This lawsuit is an important step in the effort to end this scourge.”