Florida county to sue opioid drug makers due to lack of morgue space for overdoses

BRADENTON, Fla. (WSVN) — A central Florida county is looking to sue several pharmaceutical companies due to the high amount of overdose victims taking up space in their morgue.

Manatee County commissioners said they are currently in the early stages of filing a lawsuit after being burdened with the cost of building a new morgue, Fox 13 reports.

Officials said the opioid problem in the area has become so bad that the medical examiner is running out of space to store the bodies of victims of opioid overdoses.

Manatee County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Russell Vega says the death rate is climbing so rapidly that they have had to contract out storage space to private companies. Now the county is being forced to build a new morgue.

“You’ve got to have refrigeration or the bodies decompose,” Vega said.  “No one wants that.”

County Commissioner Charles Smith said the county is taking steps to sue major pharmaceutical companies that produce a majority of the opioids that get people hooked.

“Their marketing strategies are to blame,” Smith told Fox 13. “People are dying.”

Commissioners are in the process of hiring an outside law firm that’s been involved in similar suits for other communities suffering similar troubles.

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