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North Las Vegas to sue pharmaceutical companies over opioids

The North Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday night voted unanimously to file a civil lawsuit against pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, aimed at recovering money spent on battling opioid addiction through enforcement, medical treatment and social services.

The City Council hired Las Vegas personal injury law firm Eglet Prince, which has handled similar cases against “some of the largest drug manufacturers in the world,” according to a report by City Attorney Micaela Moore.

“This hits close,” Councilman Isaac Barron said, adding that his cousin died of opioid addiction.

More than 100 municipalities nationwide, including Clark County and Reno, have filed similar lawsuits to recover the high cost of prosecuting opioid-related crimes, housing offenders and rehabilitation efforts.

Robert Eglet, senior partner at Eglet Prince, said that Lyon County is set to consider next week whether to join the lawsuit, while Henderson city officials are negotiating with the law firm.

“County and city governments and the services they provide their citizens have been strained to the breaking point by this public crisis,” Eglet told the City Council. “The drug companies knew their marketing and the way opioids were prescribed were contrary to the scientific and medical evidence.”

Eglet said his law firm has budgeted $15 million for the lawsuit. North Las Vegas will not spend any money to file the lawsuit, but Moore said that Eglet Prince will cap contingent fees at 25 percent.

Moore’s report said that the lawsuit is not expected to conflict with Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s similar, ongoing multistate investigation.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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