Lethbridge is joining an opioid class action lawsuit.

City Council voted Monday afternoon (June 15) to support the City of Grande Prairie, which filed the suit.

Councillors passed a resolution stating municipalities across Canada are contending with the social consequences of the Opioid Crisis and the impact and cost to the City of Lethbridge with opioid addiction has been significant.

The class action aims to recover costs from pharmaceutical companies which  manufacture the highly-addictive drugs.

“This is encouraging and exciting news for Alberta,” said Mayor Chris Spearman. “We are pleased that steps are being taken to address the financial impact of this crisis on communities. We are looking forward to learning more in the coming weeks and months as this lawsuit moves forward, and how Lethbridge can participate. The City of Lethbridge is fully committed to continuing efforts in combatting the Opioid Crisis.”

City Council was told a lawsuit like this could take “years” to make it through the courts.

Council agreed to participate on a contingency fee basis, which is a fee limitation clause to protect the City from any costs, and to explore the possibility of becoming a representative plaintiff in the litigation.