Litigators Propose Innovative “Class” to Give 24,500 American Communities Strong Negotiation Power in Federal Opioid Litigation
CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 14, 2019--
Today, the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation (NPOL) filed a motion to create a new, innovative class that will empower 24,500 American communities to negotiate with opioid manufacturers, distributors, and other similarly situated national defendants that are currently defendants in one of the most complex legal actions in U.S. history.
Given the scale and devastation of the opioid epidemic—an epidemic that the plaintiffs say was caused and exacerbated by these defendants—this class will by default include 5,000 counties and 19,500 “incorporated places” (cities, towns, villages, and municipalities) in the United States, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, unless they elect to opt-out. This Negotiation Class proposal is the plaintiffs’ solution to U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster’s call for a truly comprehensive, forward-looking, national, and voluntary resolution framework that enables local governments to fight for opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery funds.
This proposal, if accepted, would create a voting arrangement by which all the county and municipal entities in the United States will be able to participate collectively, through their representatives, in any settlement discussions with national opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies.
Paul J. Hanly Jr., of Simmons Hanly Conroy, and Paul T. Farrell Jr., of Greene Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel, LLP and Joe Rice of Motley Rice LLC, the co-leads of the MDL said:
“Time is of the essence in this litigation. American deaths related to opioids continue to rise, while the national life expectancy continues to fall. Cities and counties across the country continue to pour a substantial percentage of their budgets and resources into stemming this tide, protecting families, and aiding recovery. Joining all cities and counties in the country together as a Negotiation Class gives communities maximum negotiating power, makes the negotiation of potential nationwide settlements a more practical process, allows defendants to pursue complete resolution, and enables Class Members to vote on all resulting settlement offers.”
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KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA OHIO
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES LEGAL
SOURCE: Motley Rice LLC
Copyright Business Wire 2019.
PUB: 06/14/2019 03:47 PM/DISC: 06/14/2019 03:47 PM