Oneida County has hired three local law firms to explore potential litigation in recovering the expenses incurred fighting the opioid epidemic.

County Executive Anthony Picente says the county has hired the Cherundolo Law Firm, Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi and Pearlman and Robert Julian to determine if pursuing litigation against pharmaceutical companies would be beneficial.

"The opioid crisis has hit Oneida County extremely hard,” Picente said. “We have spent millions of dollars to combat the problem through law enforcement, treatment and prevention, and if those efforts have been unfairly impacted by the improper practices of pharmaceutical companies and others, we owe it to the tax payers to leave no stone unturned in recovering any unjustified costs.”

Julian says any lawsuit would based on fraud by the pharmaceutical firms -- that the companies touted a product for long term use that was really only for short term use, causing people to become addicted.

Picente says several downstate counties are also exploring similar litigation.