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La Crosse County being “cautious” in joining most of state in suing ‘Big Pharma’



La Crosse County may a month away from deciding whether to join a nationwide lawsuit against drug companies that sell opioids.

La Crosse’s executive committee is studying whether to join more than 50 other Wisconsin counties seeking damages from ‘Big Pharma.’

Monday night, the board heard its corporation counsel, Megan Devore, warn that a lawsuit could have serious effects on several county departments, including the courts, the jail and nursing homes.

Devore added that the suit being tried in Ohio could take years to complete.

A recommendation on legal action could be brought to the full board at its February meetings. Some board supervisors are urging caution, because no one knows how much the lawsuit would cost or whether the county would get much money in return.

Board chair Tara Johnson claims La Crosse County is being cautious, compared to many other Wisconsin counties, which voted to join the lawsuit without much discussion.

The county board committee has been looking at the pros and cons of the lawsuit for weeks.

About a dozen Wisconsin counties which have not joined the lawsuit yet.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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