‘Ignorance’ on opioid lawsuit ‘disappointing’

Editor,

I was surprised and disappointed at the ignorance shown by county commissioners Rick Hannold and Jill Johnson at the meeting to decide whether the county should join the 400-plus counties suing the manufacturers of Oxycontin for knowingly creating the false advertising that created the opioid crisis in our country.

Not that I care whether the county joins the suit or not. It sounds like there are plenty of plaintiffs without us. But comments by the commissioners showed that, two decades into the crisis, two of our three our elected leaders do not really think we have a problem here.

Fortunately, various county officials and deputies were present to correct their misinformation, but it’s still depressing to realize that a problem that has been destroying so many Whidbey families for so many years hasn’t apparently captured their attention.

Hannold dismissed the suit as just a “money grab” by counties and cities, totally ignoring the huge costs to the public, including Island County, of dealing with the legal and social costs of addiction.

In our society, lawsuits are one of the only tools we have for correcting corporate misbehavior that results in injury and death. In a better world this wouldn’t be necessary, but currently it’s only the threat of financial harm that discourages corporations from wrongdoing and provides money to try to compensate for the harm that has been done.

These companies advertised that their pills were not addictive when their own studies showed otherwise. To dismiss the harm done by that lie by saying that of course all advertisers lie, is horrifying. Yes, many advertisers lie, but not all lies are equally harmful.

Rick Hannold and Jill Johnson should be ashamed to be so ignorant of the cause of suffering of so many of their constituents and their families.

Sharon Emerson

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: It shouldn’t take a world war to unite Americans again

Editor, Will we, the people, ever be Americans again? Why do we… Continue reading

Letter: Former county commissioner backing Muzzall

Editor, Since I resigned as an Island County commissioner, I have chosen… Continue reading

Letter: Instantly felt a ‘kinship’ with Cliff, judge candidate

Editor, I believe Carolyn Cliff is running for Island County Superior Court… Continue reading

Letter: El Centro was addressed in Navy’s EIS

Editor, This is in response to Bob Wilbur’s Aug. 5 letter to… Continue reading

Letter: Questions about proposed levy lid lift are welcome

Editor, The board of fire commissioners for North Whidbey Fire and Rescue… Continue reading

Letter: Renninger is a role model for adults, kids

Editor, I was thrilled to read your Aug. 1 article, “Renninger revels… Continue reading

Letter: Cult leader Trump has brought this country to shame

Editor, Richard Ays’ misguided, asinine comparison of the DNC as “mental” slaves… Continue reading

Letter: Do due diligence and learn about the candidates

Editor, Election years are always full of disinformation, misleading articles and skewed… Continue reading

Recognizing those who contributed

Editor, Roots of Wellness/Healing Circles Langley recognized people who went above and… Continue reading

Most Read