WILLIAMSON – Letitia Chafin, with the Chafin Law Firm, was on hand at Thursday’s regular meeting of the Williamson City Council, to answer questions and address concerns regarding a lawsuit proposal against wholesale drug distribution companies presented at a prior council meeting.
The Chafin Law Firm is one of two local attorneys’ that have presented proposals to the Williamson City Council. Both proposals seek to hold wholesale pharmaceutical companies accountable for their alleged involvement in contributing to the opioid drug epidemic plaguing southern W.Va.
At the last regular meeting of the Williamson City Council, the council voted to table the decision after concern was expressed by council members that local pharmacies could possibly be named as defendants in regard to the purposed suit against drug companies.
At that time, council requested that the matter be tabled until more information was made available.
Chafin approached the council at Thursday’s meeting during the portion of the agenda allotted for public comment.
“Good evening. I understand you had some questions about the drug litigation. Unfortunately, I was not able to be at the last meeting so I wanted to come tonight to address any concerns or questions that you may have. I think one of the questions was would there be local defendants brought in this lawsuit? The answer to that is no, if we were fortunate enough to represent the city, we would not bring anybody into the lawsuit that the city did not want to be brought in. There are ways to bring the lawsuit and not name any local pharmacists or doctors or anybody. We would not do that at all. The counties and cities that we represent now and have filed for we brought it by their council, or commission and their attorney before we file it and make sure everyone is comfortable with it,” Chafin stated.
Councilwoman Judy Hamrick responded stating, “Yes, that was my question. I wanted to know who we were involving. I didn’t understand exactly how it went.”
“For sure we know we would involve the drug wholesalers; the million dollar corporations that have literally just have shipped and shipped drugs here. They would be defendants and I don’t think anyone has a problem with that. None of them are located here and nobody that we work with has a problem with that. Some people want to name a local defendant because they are somebody that has come in and wrecked havoc in their community or their county and they don’t have a problem naming that person but we would never file a lawsuit without running it by the entire council and your attorney to make sure you approved it before anything was filed,” Chafin explained.
Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton requested that the matter be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Williamson City Council.
The Williamson City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Williamson City Hall.
Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.