County May File Suit Over Costly Opioid Epidemic

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Ronnie Berke
Ronnie Berke

Hamilton County may file suit over the costly opioid epidemic that claimed 59 lives in the county in 2015 alone.

The County Commission on Wednesday morning approved moving forward with a working agreement with local attorney Ronnie Berke, who is associated with some well-known national attorneys who are working full-time on the issue in jurisdictions across the country.

Attorney Berke said there will be an effort to determine how much fighting the epidemic has cost county agencies, including the expense of healthcare and prosecution. There is also the cost for fire departments, EMS, etc.

The attorney said the legal group has identified pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors who are culpable in causing the major problem. He said those entities convinced doctors that the opioids, that he said were intended for end-stage cancer, were not addictive.

He said a final determination on whether a lawsuit would be filed by Hamilton County would be up to County Mayor Jim Coppinger and the commission.

Attorney Berke said it is hoped to be able to file the lawsuit in state court and avoid being caught up in a multi-jurisdictional federal class action case.

 

 



Ron Harr, Robin Smith Pick Up To Apply For Rep. McCormick's Seat

Former Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce leader Ron Harr is the first new candidate for the House District 26 seat vacated by former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick. Mr. Harr was a longtime official at BlueCross Blue Shield. He picked up for the Republican primary. Robin Smith, former state GOP chairman, has also picked up. Rep. McCormick, who has bought a house ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So, You’re Invisible?

Several weeks ago I was in the middle of My Morning Readings when, somehow, I came across a wonderful story written by Nichole Johnson. Her website says she is a speaker, a motivator, and an author whose gift is to “capture the inner-most feelings of women facing life's daily struggles, and it has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for people of all ages.” That’s ... (click for more)

Voice Of The Vols John Ward Dies

John Ward, the former “Voice of the Vols,” has died. Senator Lamar Alexander said, “When it came to UT sports, listening to John Ward was almost as good as watching the game. In fact, many Vol fans at many games brought their radios to make sure they could do both. John was a generous, courteous, enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Tennessee. He brought joy ... (click for more)

Belmont University's Mark Price Named Baylor School's Boys' Basketball Coach

Baylor School has named Belmont University's Mark Price as the boys' varsity basketball coach, following veteran basketball coach Austin Clark's announcement in April that he would be retiring after 36 years of coaching the Red Raiders. "I am very excited that Mark will be leading our boys' basketball program.  Throughout this process, we interviewed many individuals who ... (click for more)