Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Miami-Dade Schools Sues Opioid Makers, Sellers Over Drugs' Costly Effects On Students

A woman sleeps with her wheelchair nearby at what one Miami-Dade County School Board member called "an opioid and sex den" located in an expressway underpass near several schools in Overtown in October 2018.
C.M. Guerrero
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The Miami-Dade County School Board has filed a federal lawsuit against more than a dozen corporations that manufacture or distribute opioids, claiming that the nation’s fourth largest school district should be compensated for the money it has spent battling the “worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history.”

In a nearly 300-page lawsuit filed earlier this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the school system claims it has been forced to spend money trying to keep opioids out of schools and mitigating the addictive drugs’ harmful effects on students and families.

For example, the district claims it has spent money training nurses and school resource officers in treating overdoses, providing in-school nursing to students and employees suffering from opioid addictions and offering mental health care to students who have been affected by the epidemic.

Miami-Dade appears to be the first school district in the country to sue over the opioid crisis. States have filed thousands of lawsuits against companies that have profited off the sale of opioids, with settlement offers so far in the millions and billions.

The lawsuit was first reported by Politico Florida.

Read the complaint here:

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.