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It's planning to give the money it hopes to win back to police and fire, drug rehab services and similar programs, as well as city parks and recreation. "It basically comes down to the health and welfare of our community and the cost that the county has had to bear to deal with this," says Kauai County Attorney, Mauna Kea Trask. When putting together the "opioid litigation" plan, Trask looked at 16 other states -- and counties and cities within them -- that pursued similar legal action. - In 2017 -- McKesson was fined $150 million for failing to report suspicious orders of drugs. - In 2013 -- Purdue settled with the State of Kentucky for $24 million after the company was accused of misleading the public about the addictiveness of the drug Oxycontin. There are more. Trask thinks Kauai County could win. It's a plan backed by the entire county council and Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho. "Opioids are causing major, major issues within our families, our young people, our elderly, all of it," Carvalho said. He's also thinking of what often comes after opioid addiction: heroin. The number of black tar heroin seizures by Kauai police has drastically increased over the last several years. So far in 2018, KPD's found about a pound and a half of it. Mayor Carvalho hopes legal action against opioid supply and demand will also halt problems associated with heroin on the island. Both Carvalho and Trask want to emphasize any lawsuit is not an attack on hospitals or doctors. "The providers themselves, the doctors, were pawns in this whole thing it looks like." said Trask. Trask's research found some doctors were paid or compensated by pharmaceutical companies for selling their product. Island News spoke to Hawaii doctors who were intrigued by Kauai county's idea, but still had questions.
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