Mitch and Mandy Norrell present to County Council on Monday a possible lawsuit that could help the county recover some of the losses related to the opioid overdose crisis. There is a national push to sue the opioid manufacturers for costs involved in coping with the crisis. There would be no cost to the county, the fee agreement would include a 25% of judgment clause. There is a precedent when South Carolina reached a deal related to Tobacco manufacture. The States are also planning suits against the opioid producers. The suits that are being discussed with the Norrells would be by the communities and municipalities, not the state, so the judgment award would be coming back to the community.
They presents some facts related to the overdose crisis. In 2014 overdose deaths surpassed death from automobile accidents. In 2012 101.8 prescriptions were written per 100 people. That is more prescriptions that people in the state. Overdose deaths have increased 118% between 2013 and 2014. Addiction to opioids can happen in just one prescription.
In South Carolina in 2015, 5702 patients were discharged from emergency rooms with issues related to opiate abuse/dependance
There has been a 67% increase in the number of attempts to reverse opioid overdose by EMS in South Carolina in the period between 2013 and 2016. 3847 in 2013, 4187 in 2014, 4610 in 2015, 6427 in 2016.
Information was sent to the County Attorney for the council to review. The information was presented to the council to review.