The Berkshire Eagle  reports Bennington Vt. is now one of hundreds of local, county and state governments that have filed suit seeking damages from the companies involved with opioid pain medication production, distribution and sales.

And Bennington could be joined in its suit by other Vermont communities, as attorneys representing the town have given a presentation to officials from several municipalities and are following up on those discussions this week.

Rrepresentatives of about 10 Vermont communities attended a meeting two weeks ago during which Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd also spoke.

The law firms also have been involved in suits against opioid-related firms that were filed in other states. Sanford Heisler Sharp approached several Vermont communities earlier this year about suing over the effects and costs of addiction, and Bennington was the first to decide to participate.

Bennington is now the only Vermont community to file suit as a municipality to recover the local costs of battling the opioid addiction epidemic, but several others are considering it, the attorneys said Wednesday.

The Bennington Select Board approved filing suit in July, after a review of the retainer agreement by town counsel.

The suit states that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescriptions and illegal opioids account for more than 60 percent of overdose deaths nationwide, "a toll that has quadrupled over the past two decades."

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