January 23rd, 2021

Mayor to ask City to join class-action suit

By Jensen, Randy on June 5, 2020.

Herald file photo - Mayor Chris Spearman will be presenting a motion at the next city council meeting towards the City joining an opioid crisis class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


Mayor Chris Spearman will be bringing forth a motion to the next city council meeting which will pave the way for the City of Lethbridge to join a $10-billion class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies who, it is alleged, irresponsibly distributed opioids leading to the current opioid crisis.

On Wednesday Calgary law firm Guardian Law Group announced it was filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of municipalities and communities in Alberta affected by the Opioid Crisis with the City of Grande Prairie being the first signatory.

Spearman said he hoped his fellow councillors would vote in favour of the City of Lethbridge adding its own name to the lawsuit.

“I don’t think there is a city in Alberta that has been more adversely affected by the opioid crisis than Lethbridge,” stated Spearman. “We certainly should join that type of a class action. What we have to understand is the whole opioid issue started with over-prescription and evolved into illegal use of drugs subsequently. Over-prescription was the cause of the situations we are dealing with today.”

“We have many stories in Lethbridge of people who were on prescription medication who then became addicted to opioids,” he added, “so certainly the impact and the cost to the City of Lethbridge has been phenomenal, and we certainly want to be part of a class-action suit against the drug manufacturers who promoted the use of opioids to patients.”

Council is expected to vote on the motion at the June 15 council meeting.

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