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Mayor Walsh chooses law firm to represent City of Boston in litigation against the pharmaceutical industry


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Mayor's Office

Motley Rice LLC will represent the City of Boston in litigation against the pharmaceutical industry for role in the opioid crisis

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has retained Motley Rice LLC in anticipation of filing litigation against the pharmaceutical industry, including opioid manufacturers, distributors and dispensaries, that would seek to recover damages the city has incurred as a result of the opioid epidemic. This selection follows a Request for Information (RFI) that was issued in February to gather information that would help inform the City's approach for developing a potential legal strategy.

Motley Rice will immediately begin to gather relevant information from the City of Boston and engage in discussions with city officials to inform the best legal strategy, with the intent of filing litigation by the fall.

"Boston, like so many cities across the country, has invested significant time, money and resources to aggressively attack the opioid crisis from every angle," said Mayor Walsh. "Now is the time to finally hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible. Through this effort, my priority continues to be the financial and social damages to cities caused by the reckless dissemination of opioids and ensuring that Boston, a city on the front lines of this fight every day, is best positioned to recover and meet these ongoing costs."

Motley Rice is one of the nation's largest and most successful plaintiffs' firms and the firm is playing a leading role in helping state and local governments across the country address the opioid crisis by investigating and litigating against pharmaceutical companies and seeking to hold them accountable for misconduct that helped give rise to the opioid crisis. Motley Rice currently represents the City of Chicago and Santa Clara County, the first jurisdictions to file complaints against pharmaceutical companies, and represents seven states in their investigations and/or litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors, as well as over a dozen other government entities in opioid investigation and litigations.

The City received nine responses to its RFI and seven of them were from law firms. In the months preceding the RFI, the City met with various law firms to collect relevant information in preparation for potential litigation.

Having been in recovery for over 20 years, Mayor Walsh understands firsthand how easily addiction can take hold and how difficult it can be to recover. In his first term, Mayor Walsh made expanding access to recovery services in Boston a priority by creating the Office of Recovery Services to study substance use in Boston and lead the city's strategy around substance use disorders, addiction and recovery. This is the first and only municipal recovery office in the nation.

In addition, Mayor Walsh mandated the life-saving medication naloxone (Narcan) be carried in every public safety vehicle in the city in his first two weeks in office and launched a new 24/7 hotline through 311 to help people struggling with addiction access all levels of recovery services.

Continuing these efforts into his second term, Mayor Walsh announced in his inaugural speech in January that his Administration will rebuild the Long Island Bridge and invest in a comprehensive, long-term recovery facility on Long Island. These new services will offer a continuum of care and equip people with the opportunity to rebuild a life.

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