County: ‘Big Pharma’ lawsuit still ongoing

Suing “Big Pharma” still is on the table, confirmed Lycoming County commissioners Tuesday.

The idea of filing a suit against the pharmaceutical industry in light of the ongoing opioid epidemic first was brought before the public at the start of the new year.

The commissioners gave an update on the matter Tuesday, saying they met with an attorney last week and have submitted information on a potential agreement to the county’s solicitor.

“It sounds like we’re going to go down that road of joining a large group of other counties, cities and states,” said Commissioner Jack McKernan.

“But it’s not class action,” added Commissioner Tony Mussare.

There are 400 cases that have been consolidated in one of the federal courts in Ohio alone, said Commissioner Rick Mirabito.

“Rather than reinventing the wheel and studying all the issues on motions to dismiss, they consolidate them in one district court. It’s an efficiency,” Mirabito said.

“What will occur sometimes is you’ll have individual cases but, rather than having multiple judges to reach decision on them, if they’re similar filings, they’ll consolidate those cases,” said J. Michael Wiley, county solicitor.

In another matter, the commissioners approved an Early Intervention Program contract with the state Department of Community and Economic Development granting the county $82,000.

The commissioners will consider the following items during their next meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday in Executive Plaza:

• Award $1,500 to the Lycoming County Fire Police Association and $3,000 to the Lycoming Police Camp Cadet Foundation Inc. from the county’s outside agency requests budget.

• Approve VMW licensing and support in the amount of $60,465 from Arraya Solutions.

• Approve a purchase in the amount of $13,891 for two new 2018 Modine heaters with parts from APR Supply Co. for a garage at the county landfill.

• Two personnel actions at the prison.