Scott County supervisors vote to join opioid lawsuit

Holly Viers • Feb 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM

GATE CITY — Scott County has joined a growing list of counties in the region that are fighting a legal battle against opioid abuse.

During last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, board members unanimously voted to join a class action lawsuit against opioid distributors and manufacturers, hoping to recover some of the costs they’ve incurred from the opioid epidemic.

County attorney Sally Kegley explained to the supervisors that the effort is being spearheaded by Delegate Terry Kilgore.

“He’s working with a national consortium of attorneys that are looking at a class action against opioid manufacturers and distributors,” Kegley said, “and he would like to have all the counties in Southwest Virginia to participate … to recover costs that we all have from the opioid crisis that’s going on.”

Kegley said Kilgore is working with an attorney from a law firm in West Virginia that filed a similar lawsuit in early 2017.

“If we did get something (from the lawsuit), it’d be more than we have now,” Kegley said. “There’s no cost to the county to join.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman David Redwine said the Duffield Regional Jail remains one of the county’s biggest expenses, in large part due to the opioid epidemic.

“These pharmaceutical companies are getting filthy stinking rich over providing these opioids for these people so they can abuse them and wreck their lives and end up in jail,” Redwine said. “So I think if we get on board, it’s a good thing, and if they get $1, we’d get our share.”

The next board meeting will be held March 7 at 8:30 a.m.