FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICOPEE – Mayor Richard J. Kos announced today that the City of Chicopee has retained the law firm of Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP to represent it in opioid epidemic litigation against opioid manufactures and distributors. Scott+Scott are also representing the City of Springfield, and the City of Worcester in a lawsuit against opioid manufactures and distributors.
Litigation will be filed on behalf of the City of Chicopee to hold opioid drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for the damages the City has endured, and will continue to as the opioid epidemic. The opioid manufacturers and distributors have imposed a direct, foreseeable, and substantial financial burden on the City of Chicopee.
The City’s agencies, and personnel have devoted an increasingly large amount of its’ resources on public health, social and human services, law enforcement, police, fire and first responders, and outreach initiatives designed to combat the crisis created by the Defendants’ unlawful conduct.
In 2016 there were 242 opioid overdoses in Chicopee, and twenty-six (26) Chicopee residents died, nearly tripling the nine (9) overdoses in 2012. Combating this opioid crisis will require continued use of City resources for the foreseeable future. The City of Chicopee will therefore seek an order requiring the opioid manufactures and distributors to fund the effort, rather than having the taxpayer bear these costs.
“The recommendation of Scott+Scott to the Mayor was in part because of Scott+Scott’s legal history and experience in prosecuting difficult and complex litigations,” said City Solicitor Marshall Moriarty.
“During negotiations and discussions leading up to this recommendation, Scott+Scott demonstrated personal understanding of the destructive effect this epidemic has had on the citizens and resources of the City. Scott+Scott showed exemplary responsiveness and willingness to do what was fair, right, and just for the City. In addition to the preceding, the City will enter into an agreement that is beneficial to the City and its citizens and designed to achieve the goals and objections of the City,” Moriarty continued.
“It is clear that the opioid crisis is one that is affecting our residents, our City, as well as our region. It is only appropriate that those that are ultimately responsible for this tragedy and the damage to so many lives be held responsible. We hope that our efforts through litigation will not only in some way make the situation better, but also provide relief to the financial burden it has placed on our community,” said Mayor Richard J. Kos.
The agreement between the City of Chicopee and Scott+Scott is based upon a contingent fee agreement. The City of Chicopee will not be responsible for any attorney fees or expenses that Scott+Scott incurs in connection with this matter other than from funds received on its behalf.