The opioid crisis is dominating the financial news cycle. Opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies are facing thousands of lawsuits from cities, town, and counties across the country. A bellwether trial involving Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio is set for October. Defendants can either settle out of court of face the potential wrath of Judge Dan Polster who is overseeing the trials. In September Purdue Pharma entered a global settlement for $3 billion up front:
How the $3 billion payment will be divvied up among cities, towns and communities across the country remains to be seen. For now, the Sacklers have settled claims against it from thousands of communities. Pursuant to the proposal, future OxyContin sales will go into a trust to help communities suffering from the opioid epidemic.
A bevy of state attorneys general like Letitia James of New York and William Tong of Connecticut are not happy with the settlement. They plan to go after more of the Sacklers’ personal wealth. Whether they will be successful or how long it would take to extract more money from the Sacklers remains to be seen.
The Purdue Pharma deal shook the market. Cleveland, OH Judge Dan A. Polster had devised a novel mechanism for states, cities and municipalities to negotiate a global settlement and avoid thousands of court cases. There was skepticism over whether or a global settlement would work.
The opioid negotiating class is here. The Supreme Court also smacked down an opioid lawsuit from Arizona AG Mark Brnovich against Purdue Pharma. This could be positive for opioid manufacturers and distributors like Endo, Teva, Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson. Read more: