News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 1, 2020

MANITOBA INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO JOIN CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID MANUFACTURERS



The Manitoba government has introduced legislation that would enable the province to join a class action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today. 
 
“Our government has taken action to help the individuals, families and communities that have been affected by the misuse of opioids,” said Cullen. “Now it is time for Manitoba to hold these companies to account, by joining other provinces and territories to take on the pharmaceutical companies that have created such significant and ongoing harm.”
 
The Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, introduced in the spring of 2020, would allow the province to join the class action lawsuit launched by British Columbia in August 2018 and pursue claims in the bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit names more than 40 manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of opioids in Canada.  
 
Similar legislation has been passed in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.
 
Cullen noted the introduction of this proposed legislation builds on recent investments in prevention, support and recovery, with a special focus on children and youth and addressing recommendations from a number of reports including VIRGO, the Illicit Drug Task Force and the Community Wellness and Public Safety Alliance. 
 
“The human cost of opioids – such as addiction, poisoning, hospitalizations and deaths – is high, and we have invested significant resources in the health-care system to respond to opioids,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “It is clear that more Manitobans require supports for mental health and addictions issues, which is why we have invested more than $42 million in initiatives to address the growing need for these services in our province since October 2019.”
 
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED



Backgrounder
Background Information - https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2020/10/BG-Opioid_Lawsuit-JS-HL.pdf