DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Commission voted at a special meeting Thursday to join the One Ohio Initiative.
The initiative seeks to settle all opioid lawsuits across Ohio in one offer.
Local jurisdictions across the state are currently involved in lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies they believe are responsible for pushing millions of pills into their communities, creating an opioid epidemic. One Ohio would consolidate those lawsuits into one joint-statewide effort.
Commissioner Judy Dodge said the County wants to hold accountable manufacturers and distributors from the opioid epidemic.
Under the plan, 30-percent of any dollars awarded would go to local governments. Fifty-five percent would be slated to the Ohio One foundation. The Ohio Attorney’s General Office would receive 15-percent.
The governor’s office has paired the plan with a three step abatement strategy. The first part involves strategies for community recovery. That involves local services, law enforcement strategies or recovery support. The second step, statewide innovation and recovery, involves research, programs or drug task forces. Long-term sustainability, the third portion, puts infrastructure in place to prevent future a crisis.
At this point, the state has not reached a settlement agreement. It’s important to note that this unified front still needs to be presented to those the state is suing. It’s up to them to agree over whether they want to proceed this way or face each municipality on their own.
Montgomery County announced in 2018 it would sue opioid manufacturers and distributors, similar to the city of Dayton, which initiated legal action in June 2017 against companies the governments allege bear responsibility for a crisis that killed thousands of Ohioans.