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COUNTY OF HAWAII •_ _ ' % .` <br /> STATE OF HAWAI'I <br /> RESOLUTION NO. 20 19 <br /> A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EMPLOYMENT OF A PRIVATE ATTORNEY <br /> TO REPRESENT THE COUNTY OF HAWAI'I IN OPIOID LITIGATION <br /> WHEREAS, there is an epidemic across the United States, officially recognized by the <br /> Department of Health and Human Services as a public health emergency in 2017, due to the <br /> continued increase in drug overdose deaths due to prescription opioid pain killers; <br /> WHEREAS,pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that opioid <br /> pain medications were not addictive and were safe for long-term use (statements that they knew <br /> were patently false statements) and thereafter spent millions of dollars developing deceptive <br /> materials and advertising, deploying sales representatives, and recruiting physicians to encourage <br /> increased prescription rates, which in turn led to increased addiction, loss of life, and costs; <br /> WHEREAS, in 2016, the County of Hawai'i had the highest prescribing rate for opioids <br /> in the State of Hawai'i, at a rate of 66.4 prescriptions per 100 persons, double the prescribing rate <br /> for the City and County of Honolulu; <br /> WHEREAS,the effects of the opioid epidemic are felt strongly in the County of <br /> Hawai'i, and acknowledging that Hawai'i often experiences a delayed impact in relation to <br /> national trends in substance abuse, so that the impacts are projected to increase; <br /> WHEREAS,the County of Hawai'i seeks to hold the individual(s) and entities who <br /> caused this catastrophe legally responsible for their conduct; <br /> WHEREAS,the Office of the Corporation Counsel has determined that such <br /> proceedings are complex and require specific expertise and experience in opioid litigation; <br />