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12/2/2016 - City of Bangor Resolves Lawsuit with Metro Treatment of Maine

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2016

Contact: Paul Nicklas, Assistant City Solicitor

207-992-4275

Paul.nicklas@bangormaine.gov

 

City of Bangor Resolves Lawsuit with Metro Treatment of Maine

 

Bangor, Maine - This past August, the City acted on an application by Metro Treatment of Maine for expansion of the Penobscot County Metro Treatment Center, a methadone treatment clinic on Hogan Road in Bangor.  The City denied the expansion based on a council determination that the applicant failed to demonstrate a need for the expansion as required by the City ordinance dealing with methadone treatment clinics.

 

Metro Treatment filed suit against the City, alleging that the city ordinance was discriminatory, seeking an injunction, and seeking financial reparations.  On November 15, the court denied Metro Treatment’s motion for an injunction, finding that Metro Treatment had not shown that the City’s action had caused irreparable harm to the facility or the people it served.  However, the Court also opined that the 2008 methadone clinic ordinance, despite being consistent with state regulations, was facially discriminatory and that it violated the Americans with Disability Act in that it singled out a medical treatment for a protected class of people, in this case individuals suffering from addiction.

 

After reviewing the opinion of the judge and consulting with legal counsel, a settlement has been reached that acknowledges the court’s ruling, releases each party from paying any damages or costs of the other party, and will result in the dismissal of the lawsuit and the repeal of the ordinance.  The council will consider the repeal at its December 12, 2016 council meeting.  Should the City not take such immediate action, the potential exists that the City could end up obligated to pay financial damages in the future.    

 

Regardless of this decision, however, the City will continue to find ways to address the devastating issues presented by those suffering from addiction.  The City will continue to work to ensure that there is adequate treatment in Bangor and Maine, and to work toward solutions that best serve individuals suffering from addiction as well as their families.  Finally, the City will offer its assistance to work with the State towards a more decentralized treatment system, one that allows those suffering from the disease of addiction to find robust treatment options that are compassionately offered in locations that are accessible to all.

 

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The City of Bangor, Maine is a service center community of approximately 33,039 residents and is the county seat of Penobscot County. Bangor is the major commercial and cultural center for much of northern and eastern Maine. The City is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. For more information, visit
www.bangormaine.gov.