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Manchester School District Joins Lawsuit Against OxyContin Drugmaker

File Photo, NHPR

The Manchester School District is filing a legal claim against Purdue Pharma for that company's role in the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma made and marketed the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, which many blame for high rates of opioid addiction. The company has since declared bankruptcy.

The Manchester Board of School Committee voted on Monday to join other school districts across the country who say they should get money from Purdue during its bankruptcy proceedings because of the toll of addiction on public schools.

The Manchester School District’s Resolution, also approved last night, says this toll includes “expenditures of public funds to address the impact of this epidemic on students, teachers, other staff, and the taxpayers of this district,” such as skyrocketing special education costs for children whose parents have opioid use disorder and higher insurance costs for staff.

Board members acknowledged the district was unlikely to receive significant dollars from a settlement, given the number of individuals, municipalities, school districts, and law firms across the country involved in Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings.

The district will be represented by five law firms, including Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon in Manchester.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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