Biddeford has become the latest Maine city to file a federal lawsuit against several manufacturers and distributors of opioids.
The Biddeford City Council voted earlier this month to join the nationwide lawsuit which is intended to bring some relief to local cities and towns from the costs associated with the opioid epidemic. Those include medical expenses, additional law enforcement and treatment programs.
The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies overstated the benefits of using opioids and downplayed the risk, and that distributors didn’t pay enough attention to suspicious orders of prescription opioids.
Maine cities including Lewiston, Portland and Bangor have joined more than 150 other cities around the country in the case, which will be heard at a federal court in Ohio.
They’ll be part of what’s called a multidistrict litigation. MDLs are different from class action lawsuits in that each plaintiff can take or leave the result of the case, so they don’t have to take a settlement they don’t like, and payment goes directly to plaintiffs rather than to a trust fund.