SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Monday asking the city attorney to analyze the potential of taking legal action against opioid manufacturers.
The council originally announced the then-potential resolution in May via Twitter.
The resolution asks that the "City Attorney provide an analysis on the feasibility to pursuing legal action against opioid manufacturers for actively misleading Spokane citizens about the addictive nature of their drugs."
This comes after Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma and three distribution companies. Ferguson told KREM's Casey Decker that the companies are responsible for deceptive marketing that contributed to the ongoing opioid crisis.
“There’s a lot of accountability for [Purdue],” Ferguson said. “Not just for producing OxyContin, but the way in which they deceptively promoted their product by indicating to doctors that it’s not especially addictive when in fact we know that quite the opposite is the case.”
Purdue Pharma denied wrongdoing in a statement in response to the lawsuit.
The three distribution companies named in Ferguson's lawsuit are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen.
The council's announcement did not mention which companies they wanted to consider taking legal action against.
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Council member Mike Fagan said the resolution doesn't go far enough.
"We need to be also standing against the flow of opioids (heroin) to our Spokane streets, the majority of which comes across the southern border," Fagan said in a written statement to KREM. "We know that the council majority aligns with the governor's and the attorney general's sanctuary policies, so don't expect the council to act in any other way but to emulate this."
He went on to talk about a recent news story out of Pasco about a man sentenced for drug trafficking.
"How many more dirt bags do we need to read about in the paper that have been poisoning our kids? The subject of the article wasn't small time, we are talking pounds and kilos over an extended period of time," Fagan said in the statement. "People need to wake up!"
KREM has reached out to all of the Spokane council members for comment on the resolution.
This is not the first time Spokane has pursued legal action against a large company.
In 2015, the city announced a lawsuit against agrochemical giant Monsanto.
The lawsuit alleged that the company sold chemicals for decades that it knew were a danger to people and the environment.