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Berlin Joins Other N.H. Communities In Suit Against Opioid Makers

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Berlin is the latest city to join a massive lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Lawyers representing Berlin filed a 284-page petition in federal court on Friday accusing a group of pharmaceutical companies of stoking the opioid crisis by misleading doctors and patients about the risks of addiction posed by drugs including OxyContin.

Kirk Simoneau, a lawyer with the firm Nixon Vogelman, says opioid abuse has had a financial impact on Berlin in the form of extra EMS services, policing, shelters and drug counseling programs.

“Meanwhile the people who are pocketing billions of dollars in profit from getting people addicted aren’t paying a penny to help deal with the crisis they’ve created,” he said.

Berlin joins a growing list of cities, including Concord, Nashua and Manchester, as well as most counties in the state, that have filed similar suits.

The cases will likely be consolidated into a larger lawsuit currently moving through a federal court in Ohio.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. He can be reached at tbookman@nhpr.org.
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