The Prescott City Council Tuesday took the next step in a plan to sue pharmaceutical companies for damages incurred during the opioid crisis.
Members voted unanimously to hire three law firms, paying them only if money is awarded to the city.
Jeff Reeves is a lawyer with one of those firms.
At the meeting, he said the harm done to Prescott is unique because it became a hub for sober living homes.
“It’s placed a huge burden on the city in many ways: law enforcement, healthcare not the least of which. When you have 180 homes in a residential community of 40,000 people, that’s disproportionate.”
Reeves said that number is down in the low-30s now after reaching 180 in 2016.
In 2012, there were 116 opioid prescriptions per 100 residents in Yavapai County.
A memo from the city manager says damages in a lawsuit could easily reach up to $20 million.