Wilmington Mayor Saffo talks ongoing opioid lawsuit

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Last week, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and city attorney John Joye along with County Commissioner Woody White, traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to discuss an ongoing lawsuit focused on the opioid epidemic in our community.

The city filed the lawsuit in 2017 against those who have allegedly contributed to the opioid crisis, and joins more than 2,500 and local governments, including New Hanover County.

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Mayor Saffo says two of the original counties that filed suit have settled for around $200 million. The manufacturers offered $18 billion over 18 years to the remaining counties, but Saffo says they are working to get compensation quicker.

“We’re hopefully optimistic that they have made an overture of some settlement,” Mayor Saffo said. “They feel that they are liable in this epidemic, and we feel at some point in time that will come to some kind of a conclusion.

Mayor Saffo believes this could be the largest class action lawsuit in American history.



“Either which way, we’re either going to go to trial, or it’s going to be settled, and hopefully very soon.”

Saffo says the money would likely be distributed based on the number of treatment centers in an area, and other related factors.