A judge presiding over all current opioid litigation recently scheduled a conference that would focus completely on settlement opportunities for a resolution.
Opioid litigation has been on the rise in recent months as various parties come together to allege that manufacturers are responsible for the opioid crisis that has swept the country.
These lawsuits are all based on the similar premise that manufacturers overly promoted and marketed these drugs despite the significant risk of addiction. The ripple effects of the opioid crisis have trickled down to cities and counties in many different states coping with the aftermath of addiction and overdoses.
More than 200 complaints currently make up opioid litigation in district courts across the country. All of these are seeking damages from distributors and manufacturers of narcotic painkillers such as Endo Actavis, Purdue, and Teva-Cephalon.
All of these lawsuits were recently consolidated into one multidistrict opioid litigation. This was to carry out coordinated discovery as well as pre-trial proceedings. The cases will reduce discovery into one common location and avoid any conflicting pre-trial rulings.
What Consolidation Means for Opioid Litigation
Cases are often consolidated in this manner to fast-track the litigation process and to serve the convenience of the judicial system, the witnesses, and the parties. The judge overseeing the opioid litigation shared that the purpose of the conference was to work towards any possible settlement resolution.
Recently, settlement talks were announced with attorneys general from several different states with the managers of Purdue Pharma. Purdue is the creator and manufacturer of Oxycodone, one of the most widely abused and popular opioid drugs. Some of these states are looking for a multi-billion dollar payout.
Various evidence now suggests that drug overdoses in the United States kill more individuals than car crashes and homicides combined.
Those pursuing the cases against drug manufacturers are using similar grounds from lawsuits about big tobacco during the 1990s. The concept is that the drug manufacturers knew about the risks of the products they created and sold, but pushed them aggressively despite the high chance of addiction.
Two-thirds of drug overdoses across 2015 were directly tied to opioids. Americans are currently using more opioid medications than any other country in the world.
Some begin using opioids legally while recovering from an accident or to deal with a pain-related event, but that can develop into a serious addiction.
The drugs are so popular now they have a high street value and are often sold or stolen to meet the addiction demand.
Government studies have tried to identify where the flow of opioids is coming from, finding that many people are moving from one doctor’s office to another, reporting various pain complaints in an effort to get an opioid prescription.
Those representatives who have filed opioid litigation argue that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility for promoting these drugs too heavily while not warning about the dangerous risks of addiction.
If you believe you may have grounds for opioid litigation, consult with the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley.