MORA COUNTY — Mora County has become the first New Mexico governmental entity to seek damages against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers.
Mora County Commissioners, Paula A. Garcia (Chair), George A. Trujillo, and Alfonso J. Griego unanimously voted Monday (Aug. 14) to retain the firms of Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC (New York) and Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. (Albuquerque) to file a lawsuit on behalf of Mora County. Mora County joins numerous governmental entities nationwide already represented by Napoli Shkolnik. In New Mexico, the Napoli law firm has associated the Albuquerque-based law firm Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway.
The lawsuit filed against various manufacturers and distributors of prescription opiates alleges fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opiates. The lawsuit seeks damages to be paid to Mora County for costs it has incurred in combatting the opioid epidemic.
“Mora County is proud to lead the charge in New Mexico in this ground-breaking litigation,” stated Paula A. Garcia, Chair, Mora County Commissioner’s board. Ms. Garcia stated “the opioid epidemic has caused devastation, touched virtually every citizen’s life and certainly has caused the County to incur expenses and utilize resources needlessly.”
“For many years the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medications have earned billions of dollars in profits flooding this country with opioids” says Napoli Shkolnik attorney Joseph L. Ciaccio, “these lawsuits seek to force those companies to clean up the devastation caused by these pills.”
According to a press release from Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, Mora County has one of the highest opioid overdose rates of any New Mexico county.
The firm said it is aware of interest on the part of other governmental entities to join in the litigation effort.