Nassau County villages file opioid lawsuits against drug companies

Some Nassau County villages are taking the fight against the deadly opioid epidemic to federal court.

The lawsuit is against more than a dozen drug companies and distributors, health care providers and major companies, including Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.

West Islip attorney David Grossman, who represents Island Park, says the suit is for economic damages related to the opioid crisis. He says some of these expenses include the cost of emergency response to overdoses and usage of Narcan.

The suit also claims that Island Park residents are suffering from opioid crisis because of the drug companies and their practices.

"It came out that they were telling the public that there was no such thing as addiction for opiates, and if a patient showed signs of addiction, that was actually pseudo-addiction and how you treat that-- you double the dose," Grossman says.

While no specific dollar amount is asked for, Grossman says he hopes the companies offer a settlement large enough to cover the cost of social programs in the community, reimburse the community for costs it incurred because of the opioid crisis and compensate families who lost loved ones.

"It's hard to put a value on human life, especially in this situation where you have a manufacturer of a product who was dishonest to the public," he says.

Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty says the village has been devastated by what he calls a "plague" of opioid use and abuse. "Island Park is a small place, there's a whole generation of young people that I held in my arms as babies who aren't here now," he says.

In addition to Island Park, a federal lawsuit has also been filed on behalf of Garden City.

Attorney Grossman says he expects other municipalities on the Island will also file their own lawsuits soon.