MOUNT PLEASANT — Mount Pleasant is considering seeking compensation from pharmaceutical companies for expenses related to responding to the impact of the opioid crisis on the village.

The Village Board has unanimously approved retaining the law firm of Phipps Deacon Purnell, based in San Antonio, to possibly join the lawsuit against large pharmaceutical companies that, some allege, are somewhat at fault for the opioid crisis.

Village Attorney Chris Smith said the lawsuit alleges that some pharmaceutical companies engaged in misleading practices with regard to educating the public and health care providers about the dangers of over-prescribing opioids, and with regard to their highly addictive nature.

“It’s a major problem, it puts a strain on governmental entities and it’s especially a strain on the local level,” Smith said.

Racine County Medical Examiner Michael Payne said that there were 33 confirmed fatal overdoses between Jan. 1, 2018 and April 5, 2019 in Racine County.

Of that number, 27 overdoses are considered accidental, whereas the other six have been classified as suicides or undetermined.

Another six cases are waiting on test results, Payne said, which could bump the fatal-overdose total to as high as 39.

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