RELATED: Butler County $5 million opiate lawsuit will proceed
Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager Erin Rolfes said her company would not comment on the pending lawsuit.
At the end of Wednesday’s council meeting, officials went behind closed doors to discuss the litigation, announcing they might come out afterward to take a vote.
After a few minutes, they returned to a public session, and Council Member Carla Fiehrer made the motion to add the companies.
City leaders did not comment after their unanimous vote. Instead, they released a written statement. It said: “When we filed our initial Complaint in August 2018, the city did not have access to the data maintained by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration known as ARCOS (Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System) which contains information regarding all shipments of opioids in the United States.
“The Federal Court in Cleveland recently allowed us to receive reports naming the manufacturers and distributors who supplied opioids to our city. Based on those reports, we have decided to amend our complaint to add additional manufacturers and distributors whom we believe are among those responsible for the city’s opioid epidemic.”
Fiehrer’s motion called for the city to prepare documents making it possible to amend the lawsuit. The full list in her motion was, “CVS, H.D. Smith, Kroger, Meijer, Par Pharmaceutical, Rite Aid, Spec Gx LLC, Walgreens Co., and Wal-Mart.”
The governments have sued to recover some of the costs they have faced because of the crisis, including increased prices of policing, emergency-squad runs, providing programs to combat the crisis and other expenses.
Staff Reporter Denise Callahan contributed reporting