CARMEL, N.Y. - Surrounded by county officials, state representatives and local community leaders, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell signed a resolution last week directing the county government to join the New York Opioid Cost Recovery litigation at the county’s Bureau of Emergency Services.

The lawsuit was filed against pharmaceutical companies and distributors for fraudulent and negligent practices they have allegedly engaged in, which the litigants say caused immeasurable harm to residents and taxpayers. The resolution was passed by the Putnam County Legislature last month, 8-0, with one legislator absent.

“Heroin and opioid use is a major public health and safety crisis and the costs to our community is not limited to pain and suffering of the individuals and families impacted,” Odell said. “Unfortunately, there is also a taxpayer impact, including massive resources used in county public health, law enforcement, court system, mental health and social services, coroner and medical examiner and many other programs and services. The county has significant damages and we will aggressively pursue those damages through litigation.”

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The goal of the litigation, Odell said, is to fully compensate Putnam County for unnecessary costs incurred because of prescription opioid abuse, including workplace costs relative to loss of productivity, health care costs such as abuse treatment and criminal justice costs.

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