The Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to rejoin efforts at suing pharmaceutical companies alleged to be responsible for the opioid epidemic at last weeks board meeting.
In a unanimous vote by the supervisors, Solicitor David Truelove can now negotiate terms on how to handle claims made if a suit is filed on behalf of the township.
Truelove said officials discussed the process of engaging outside counsel to represent the township in opioid related litigation and would recommend a firm, which he did, in a memo provided to board members before the meeting.
We did a review and analysis and we recommend at this time Bern & Partners as the lead in any potential suit, Truelove said Wednesday.
The recommendation he said is primarily because Bern has a wealth of experience in these matters, representing other Bucks County municipalities and private sector clients in pending opioid related litigation.
“The type of damages that could be recovered certainly would be unique to a public entity in these circumstances. And as we discussed before, tragically we have had either a lot of opioid related deaths, or overdoses in the area
Most importantly We think for the purposes of Lower Makefield, Bern has experience with the type of damages local governments seek in these types of legal actions, Truelove said.
Lower Makefield Police, he said, were the first in Bucks County to be approved to use the life saving drug Narcan as part of the scope and extent the deadly ravages of the epidemic leaving its mark in the front yards of Lower Makefield.
Officials said there were five firms looked at closely but approved engaging Bern to represent the township in potential litigation.
The fee agreement with the firm is based on contingency, no outlay will be made, officials said.
Truelove now will speak with Bern officials on the next steps in the process.
Bern has headquarters in New York city and has a local office in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
In related board news Resolution No. 2412 Authorizing Township Manager to sign Right-of-Way plans for
Township Route T-344, Lower Makefield Township, Multi-Use Trail was approved unanimously also.
The board also approved the purchase new vehicle for the Code Enforcement Department.
Township officials said, code enforcement had been using an old LMPD vehicle which had seen better days.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox will costs $24,537.00 township officials said.