Local leaders announce plans for opioid lawsuit

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- The City of Rockford and Winnebago County announces a joint effort to file a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers.

City and County officials say the companies have helped to grow the epidemic of opioid addiction.

"Law enforcement is responding to overdose calls, hospitals are seeing the impact and we're feeling it across all sectors of our community", said Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney

The Winnebago County Coroner says from the start of 2017 through December 15, 2017, 122 people overdosed on opioids.

"Families are being devastated and it's imperative that drug manufacturers change the way they do business". said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Attorney Ann Callis, a partner at Goldenberg Heller Antognoli, P.C. will lead the litigation team for the City and County.

Before any lawsuit is filed, both the Winnebago County Board and Rockford City Council need to approve the action.