The Opioid Crisis
Widespread, unregulated opioid use is a nationally recognized crisis. The epidemic has had an astonishing impact on individual lives, families and entire communities.
Pharmaceutical drug manufacturers and distributors have played a major role in creating the opioid crisis. For example, over-promotion of opioids fueled intentional overprescribing. In the face of widespread abuse, the pharmaceutical companies failed to monitor suspicious orders. And even as problems continued to escalate, those companies failed to warn of the increased abuse risk of new formulations.
Creating a Legal Remedy
Counties and cities are increasingly holding prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable by taking legal action. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed nationally against opioid manufacturers and distributors. In December 2017, a federal judicial panel ordered that all actions filed in federal courts across the country be coordinated in a single proceeding called a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). In order to streamline and manage the litigation process, all future federal opioid cases will be coordinated through the MDL.
Our Role in the National Opioid Litigation
These complex cases demand specialized skill and resources. Our history of successful litigation against several of the largest pharmaceutical and opioid companies makes us uniquely positioned to maximize recovery for our clients. Not only have we successfully obtained billions of dollars in recovery for our clients in other litigations, our firm is directly engaged in the national opioid proceedings.
Firm partner Steve Skikos has been appointed Plaintiff's Co-Liaison in the federal coordinated Opioid MDL. In this leadership position, Steve will assist U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in the management of hundreds of lawsuits and coordinate efforts for MDL plaintiffs.
In addition to Steve's role, firm partner Mark Crawford is a member of the Opioid MDL Plaintiffs' Law and Briefing Committee. Firm partner Jane Joseph is a member of the Opioid MDL Plaintiffs' Damages and Experts Committee.
Recovering Opioid-Related Losses
Counties and cities are taking direct legal action against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors.
This is not a class action—in order for counties and cities to participate they must file their own actions individually. The goals of the litigation are to recover tax dollars spent on the opioid epidemic, and secure funds for programs that can effectively treat and reverse this epidemic.
These may include:
- Awareness/Education Campaigns
- Preventative Measures
- Monitoring Prescriptions and Use
- Emergency Costs/Naloxone Overdose Kits
- Treatment Programs
- Disposal Programs for Unused Drugs
- Law Enforcement Costs
- Other Programs to Care for Addicted Patients and Their Families