The opioid crisis has become recognized as a national epidemic that has taken over thousands of communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 47,000 individuals died due to opioid overdose in 2017 alone, accounting for 67.8% of all drug overdose deaths.
With this increase in deaths has emerged an increase in the number of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies that supply these drugs to communities across the US. Unfortunately, individual cases often have riskier outcomes and do not address the broad reach of the opioid crisis.
To meet this issue head-on, attorneys from across the country have proposed a framework that would compile thousands of communities together into a single settlement. Local officials would vote to approve or reject the agreements reached with pharmaceutical companies, and their votes would be weighted by the size of their community. Additional funds would be set aside for areas especially impacted by the opioid epidemic.
This settlement architecture has yet to be approved, but a hearing is scheduled for later in June. If Judge Dan Polster decides to allow this form of legal action, an interactive map will be made to determine how much each municipality will receive based on the distribution of prescriptions, overdoses, and opioid-related death.
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As the opioid crisis illustrates, misconduct by the pharmaceutical industry can have a devastating impact on individuals and communities across the country. While there is no way to undo the damage caused by drug manufacturers, decisive legal action can hold companies accountable and help victims begin to heal.
If you or a loved one was harmed by a dangerous medication or defective medical device, please reach out to Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our attorneys have extensive experience fighting for fair compensation on behalf of victims and their families. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.