City of Roanoke explores legal action to combat opioid epidemic

Council passes resolution that allows city attorney to seek outside legal help

ROANOKE, Va. – The city of Roanoke has officially given the green light to exploring legal options to combat the opioid epidemic. 

During Monday's City Council meeting, council members approved a resolution that affirms the Commonwealth's declaration that the opioid epidemic is a public health emergency. The resolution allows the city attorney to seek outside legal counsel on behalf of the city to recover damages the epidemic has caused in Roanoke.

Roanoke's city attorney can now review what's in the best interest of the city and residents.

"This is a first step," said Tim Spencer, Roanoke's senior assistant city attorney. "It does not mean that there will be a lawsuit filed, but again, it doesn't mean that there won't be. This is merely the first step."

Roanoke County has a similar resolution on its agenda for Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

At least 11 Virginia communities, including Danville, Martinsville, Pittsylvania and Montgomery counties, have filed lawsuits to fight the epidemic.

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