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Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Following in the footsteps of the city of Dayton and the state of Ohio, Montgomery County plans to sue drug companies or others that county officials allege helped cause the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has ravaged the Dayton region and communities across the country.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County commissioners announced they have approved an agreement with Motley Rice, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms, to take legal action against “individuals and entities related to the marketing, prescribing, distribution or sale of opioids.”

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Montgomery County has hired the firm to investigate and then litigate claims related to the marketing and overprescribing of powerful opioid medications, said Mary Montgomery, chief of civil division of the Montomery County prosecutor’s office.

She said the goal is to hold those people and companies responsible for the opioid crisis accountable for it and try to recover the costs to taxpayers. That includes drug treatment programs, medical care, hospitalizations, law enforcement, prosecution and incarceration, Montgomery said.

Other costs include caring for the children whose parents have died of a drug overdose or who have lost custody because of their drug use, she said.

“Any money recovered will be for treatment programs as well as to reimburse the county for all of the expenses just mentioned,” she said.

Montgomery County has been particularly hard-hit by the opiate crisis, county officials said, noting that between 60 to 70 percent of the bodies in the county morgue last summer were overdose victims.

In 2016, prescribers in the county wrote almost 93 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents, and there were more opioid prescriptions written each year between 2006 and 2015 than there were people living in the county, said Montomery.

“Nationally, the economic toll of the opioid crisis is estimated to have topped $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017,” she said.

Motley Rice, based in Washington, D.C., is lead counsel in lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies by the city of Chicago and Santa Clara County. The firm also represents four states, seven counties and a handful of cities and townships in other opioid-related litigation.

Last year, Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley in California, reached a $1.6 million settlement with drug maker Teva over “deceptive” marketing of prescription opioid painkillers, according to Motley Rice.

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Closer to home, the city of Dayton last June announced it was suing more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pain specialists who city officials allege misrepresented the dangers of opioid medications and profited from opioid dependency and use.

This is about basic fairness for Montgomery County taxpayers, and the companies that ignited and fed this deadly epidemic should help clean it up, said Commissioner Dan Foley.

“We believe … that the drug companies have a moral obligation to pay our community back,” Foley said.

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Dayton standoff winding down; Alleged suspect not home

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:23 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 10:12 PM

Standoff

UPDATE @ 10:15 p.m.:

SWAT members are putting their gear away at the scene, and it appears the standoff is winding down. 

Apparently, the suspect they were seeking was not there and his mother reportedly told police that he is at a mental health facility in Mason, according to Montgomery County dispatch.

UPDATE @ 9:45 p.m.:

Police are communicating on the bullhorn again.

 

UPDATE @ 9:40 p.m.:

Police are entering one of the homes.

Police have lights directed on the house in the 100 block of Livingston Avenue, but they are no longer communicating with a bullhorn nor have their sirens on.

 

UPDATE @ 8:35 p.m.:

Police are surrounding a second house and have their guns drawn in the 200 block of Livingston Avenue.

People were seen coming in and out of the house, Montgomery County dispatch confirmed.

The original SWAT scene remains active at the house in the 100 block of Livingston Avenue.

UPDATE @ 7:40 p.m.:

Police are using a bullhorn to communicate with a suspect who is inside a home involved in a standoff with police. 

"You are under arrest. You need to come to the door with your hands up," an officer announced on the loudspeaker. 

Area residents are outside watching the police activity, with many recording the event on their smartphones.

FIRST REPORT:

The Dayton police SWAT team is on scene of an apparent standoff in the 100 block of Livingston Avenue.

Crews were dispatched at 4:22 p.m., Montgomery County Dispatch confirmed.

Livingston Avenue at Florence Avenue is currently closed.

We have a crew on scene and will update this page when more information becomes available. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Former Allen County sheriff indicted on several charges

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:26 PM

A former Ohio Sheriff has been accused of taking bribes from drug dealers, and tipping them off to raids.

Former Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish faces a six-count indictment following a 21-month investigation by the Cleveland Office of the FBI.

Crish is accused of asking for and accepting bribes from drug dealers, along with allegedly tipping them off. Investigators say Crish would also make promises to people arrested in prostitution stings if they gave him money, and he would hit up suspected gamblers. 

He now faces 75 years in prison. 

“It is offensive as it is audacious, it’s brazen, it’s arrogant,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “It absolutely does demean, everything that somebody who takes the oath of office to serve in law enforcement, it demeans everything about that. The actions alleged in the indictment are that of a crime boss, not a sheriff.”

Crish turned himself in to the FBI earlier today, but right now he’s out on bond. His attorney says he’s allowed to travel for his job, and to Florida next month to attend gambling addiction treatment. Crish admitted to a gambling problem shortly after his office was raided in 2016.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Gas prices to drop around 10 cents this week

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:16 PM

The average price of gas in Ohio drops 10 cents this week.

Ohio has topped the charts for the biggest weekly change in gas price averages in the country; Ohio is the 11th lowest in the nation at $2.70 per gallon.

Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Monday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing. “If demand continues to strengthen and inventories decrease in the weeks ahead, motorists can expect gas prices do a reversal and start to increase again,” said AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Moore. “AAA expects the national gas price average to range between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day, likely seeing the summer’s highest prices in June.”

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Moving into this week, another factor that will influence gas prices in the near and long-term will be outcomes from the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. The cartel, along with other major producers including Russia, will discuss increasing oil production ahead of the year-end scheduled dissolution of its production reduction agreement.

Motorists are spending $69 or more a month for gas compared to last year, but that won’t stop their summer travel. Gas expenses are accounting, on average, for 7% of an American’s 2018 annual income.

Visit https://gasprices.aaa.com/ to check the latest gas prices.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Supreme Court to hear arguments over Trump travel ban

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:33 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:33 AM

File photo: Supreme Court of the United States
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
File photo: Supreme Court of the United States(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would listen to arguments surrounding President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban during its October sitting.

>> Read more trending news

The decision came down as justices announced their final opinions of the term ahead of a summer break. Justices will review arguments over whether the ban violates constitutional protections against religion-based discrimination, among other things.

The court also agreed to lift preliminary injunctions that blocked the government from barring foreign nationals without connections to the U.S. from entering the country.

Justices said in their filing Monday that upholding the injunctions “would appreciably injure (America’s) interests without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.”

The court left in place injunctions that affect “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

Trump hailed the high court’s order as a “clear victory for our national security.” He said in a statement that his “number one responsibility” is to keep the American people safe.

>> Read the Supreme Court order

The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court on June 1 after a lower court blocked the travel ban from going into effect.

The administration argued that an injunction issued by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in May was too broad in blocking the government from banning foreign travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

The travel ban was the second executive order addressing travel to the United States signed by the president after key provisions of the first were blocked by a federal court.

Trump signed his original executive order in January, barring foreign nationals from seven countries Muslim-majority from entering the U.S. for 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.

A federal judge blocked several key provision of the ban a week later. An appeals court declined to lift the order and the government announced it would put together a new travel ban.

The second version of the executive order was signed March 6 and barred foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Major parts of the second executive order were blocked by a federal court in May, which determined that the government was likely to lose its case, because its arguments appeared to target people based on their religion rather than on national security concerns.

The president has numerous times argued that his travel ban is necessary to ensure the safety of Americans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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