Chester County to sue major opioid drug makers, distributors

In effort to combat the "devastating effects of the opioid crisis on its residents," the Chester County Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday that it will file a civil lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors.

The board is citing their role in the opioid epidemic as cause for the lawsuit.

"We have devoted a tremendous amount of resources to help address the opioid crisis for our citizens, but the problem is not going away," said Chester County Commissioners' Chair Michele Kichline. "Funding is needed to sustain the programs, services and additional resources needed, and pharmaceutical manufacturs must shoulder a portion of that burden."

The lawsuit put forth by Chester County hopes to secure funding to aid with critical educational and addiction recovery assistance, social service needs, compensation for law enforcement and court-related costs, and education and prevention measures.

In 2018, Chester County recorded 108 accidental fatal drug overdoses. Drug overdose deaths have nearly doubled from 2015 to 2017, according to officials.