WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday night that will help fight the opioid epidemic at the source.
The resolution allows the city to hire legal counsel to sue drug suppliers who may have violated federal and/or state laws through the wholesale distribution of opioids. New Hanover County approved a similar resolution on Monday night.
Both the city and the county said they feel like they have compelling evidence showing drug companies neglected their duties as gatekeepers of these drugs.
"We feel that (drug companies) had an obligation to notify public health officials, (and the) community to tell them that we have a problem going on," Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. "We have an increase of opioid abuse, or opioid sales, in your community, and there's something going on in New Hanover County or the City of Wilmington or wherever they may be."
Saffo said he believes this will turn into a class action lawsuit since many cities and counties are working to take similar action.
City Council said Wednesday it is working diligently to hold these companies accountable.