NEW BEDFORD - Cities and states across the country are filing suit against pharmaceutical giants that pushed doctors to prescribe addictive opioids to their patients. Now, a New Bedford City Councillor is hoping the City can do the same.

Councillor-at-Large Brian Gomes says both Big Pharma and doctors are largely to blame for the opioid epidemic that has swept the nation, which has hit hard here in New Bedford.

"They should be held accountable," said Gomes. "It's been intensive not only on our police, fire, EMS, but on the city as a whole. And I don't want the city to be left out. The damage has been done and somebody should pay."

Gomes says in addition to the numerous deaths over the past several years in the city caused by opioid overdoses, the City has armed it's first responders with Narcan at a significant cost, and a number of treatment programs have sprung up to try to turn the tide of addiction. Gomes believes the City should be reimbursed for those costs.

Gomes also suggested that further action be taken against any area doctors who overprescribed opioids, feeling they should be shunned.

"If we had any doctor in this community that was overprescribing that medicine, and we can find out that information, then you have to go work somewhere else because you helped in this deterioration and demise of my community by what you did."

Gomes is asking Mayor Jon Mitchell and City Solicitor Mikaela McDermott to begin the process of filing a lawsuit at Thursday night's City Council meeting.

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