COLUMBUS — A bevy of statewide groups representing local municipalities, county commissioners, prosecutors, sheriffs and coroners have all come out against Dave Yost’s plan to take control over lawsuits filed by local governments to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and pay damages over the opioid crisis.
“For nearly 10 years now local communities in Ohio have gotten hammered. Even as these communities, their first responders and health systems have borne the brunt of the tragedy of the opioid crisis, Republican politicians have repeatedly stripped them of money and resources to address the crisis,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “One thing these cities did before the state entered the picture was go to court to hold the opioid producers and distributors accountable for what they’ve done. Dave Yost’s attempt to take control over these locally filed opioid lawsuits — and possibly steer settlement dollars to the state instead of allowing them to go directly to local communities — is just another slap in the face. If politicians in Columbus want to help, they can start by advocating for full restoration of local funding, not trying to take even more away.”
In a joint statement Wednesday, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Ohio Municipal League, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and the Ohio State Coroners Association said they were concerned about “Yost’s comments and his proposal to usurp local authorities and potentially redirect those settlement dollars to the state.”