WILLIAMSON – At Thursday’s regular meeting of the Williamson City Council, the council voted to table a motion to join a lawsuit against wholesale drug distribution companies.
At two prior council meetings, two attorneys pitched proposals in an effort to get the city to join litigation that would hold wholesale drug distribution companies accountable for alleged negligence in failing to flag large quantities of opioid pain medication distributed throughout Mingo County including the city of Williamson. The Chafin Law Firm and Mark Mitchell both presented proposals to the city in regard to joining drug distribution litigation at previous meeting of the Williamson City Council.
Several other cities and counties in West Virginia have joined litigation against wholesale drug distribution companies including the town of Kermit which is located in Mingo County. The Gilbert City Council which is also located in Mingo County recently approved a vote to file suit against wholesale pharmaceutical companies as well.
The city of Williamson’s hesitation in joining litigation involving wholesale pharmaceutical companies stems from the fact that it is possible that local pharmacies could be named as defendants in the case.
At Thursday’s meeting of the Williamson City Council, taking a vote to file suit against the wholesale pharmaceutical companies was listed on the agenda as old business and the topic was approached by Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton.
When the topic was announced, Councilwoman Judy Hamrick stated, “We had some questions that we wanted answered. We were hoping one of the pharmacies would be here so we could question whether they are involved in this at all. Someone had made the remark that this suit might target the pharmacies as well. Are they potential defendants?”
Williamson Attorney Joshua Ferrell confirmed that local pharmacies could be targeted as potential defendants if the city voted to file suit against the distribution companies.
Councilwoman Hamrick then made a motion to table the vote stating, “I am just not quite ready to vote on it.”
The Williamson City Council meets on the second and fourth Thursday each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Williamson City Hall.
Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.