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US bill aims at lawsuits on overdose drug

Following three overdose deaths in 48 hours in Lynn, US Senator Edward J. Markey introduced federal legislation Wednesday that would shield from lawsuits emergency workers and family members who administer a drug that reverses overdoses.

Legislators say “good Samaritans” who administer Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, should be able to do so without fear of being sued.

“No one should be afraid to save a life because of a lawsuit,” said Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. “It’s a good solution to a complex problem. We extend liability protection to people to administer a life-saving drug.”

In Lynn, Narcan was used to stop 62 percent of 281 overdoses last year.


Markey introduced the legislation with Senators Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, and Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat.

Markey said he was unaware of anyone being sued after administering the drug, but it is a fear that people told him about.

Jan Ransom can be reached at