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DRUG CRISIS: Second county to sue drug companies

10/10/17

WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- In a 6 -4 vote, Luzerne County Council decided on a firm to sue pharmaceutical companies for the opioid crisis.

The county will use Texas-based firm Baron and Budd, which will charge 30-percent plus fees if they win.

Councilman Rick Williams questioned whether those fees could significantly reduce the 70-percent recovery.

But county manager Dave Pedri said they had negotiated the percentage way down, and the agreement is pretty standard.

He says the firm is representing more than 100 municipalities across the U.S., and the fees would be split up among them.

The council and controller would also be able to look over and challenge the fees.

Councilman Stephen Urban opposed the measure, saying the county never sued drug dealers or doctors, and that this could cripple companies that do good for seniors, causing prescription costs to go up.

Pedri says the contract was not advertised, but many law firms contacted him, and he also talked to Delaware County as well as Lackawanna County, which had announced similar action last month.

Pedri says the Texas firm impressed him and the solicitor's office with its knowledge of the law and the points at issue here.

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