The opioid epidemic once dominated the 24-hour news cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic replaced the opioid epidemic as front and center global news. Vaccines from Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) have given the world hope that we can beat COVID-19 and the global economy can continue its upward trajectory. That said, America still has a major drug problem and there has been an ongoing debate pursuant to how to address it. Government officials and certain lawmakers noted how opioid addictions and rising opioid-related deaths coincided it a proliferation of opioid prescriptions. Opioid manufacturers have reduced prescriptions, yet opioid abuse has continued.
The country needs treatment and prevention and billions of dollars to make that happen. The government has taken opioid manufacturers to task publicly and sought legal redress in court. Court cases stalled amid the pandemic, and resumed a few months ago. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and major distributors settled for over $30 billion, yet negotiations are ongoing for Teva (TEVA), Endo (ENDP) and AbbVie (ABBV). It is almost a miracle that things have progressed this far. It seemed like the opioid litigation would go on forever. However, Judge Dan Polster (Ohio) and private lawyers for the plaintiffs devised a novel settlement mechanism to provide a path to a resolution. At the 31:00 minute mark of the following video, Trump And The GE explains:
Judge Dan Polster, he came up with a mechanism – people thought he was crazy a few years ago – to settle the opioid crisis. He’s having cities and municipalities … and supposedly the mechanism is based on which cities and municipalities have been the hardest hit. They will get the lion’s share of the settlement. It’s sort of like the tobacco settlement … the actual municipalities got their own private lawyers who are suing the opioid manufacturers and the distributors. The tobacco settlement was a $246 billion settlement … but maybe $7 billion or $8 billion (3%) actually went to the municipalities. Most of it went to the state AGs and the state …
Now this mechanism … the municipalities and the towns and cities are driving and the state AGs are trying to play catch up … Some of the state AG’s are kind of balking … I think they are trying to meet now to figure out the settlement mechanism … The mechanism was kind of ratified … the drug companies are saying “Let’s pay. Let’s get this over with.”
Almost two years later the opioid settlement has not been fully-completed. Chatter suggests that plaintiffs’ lawyers like Joe Rice of Motley Rice, Chris Seeger of Seeger Weiss, et. al are stalling the deal due to greed. Plaintiffs’ lawyers helped craft the novel settlement mechanism and they should get paid. Lawyers are already set to receive over $2 billion on the $30 billion funds already negotiated. It is now time to get this deal done and move on – else, risk becoming a public nuisance.
Chris Seeger of Seeger Weiss (pictured above) is one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Seeger brandished his reputation as lead counsel for NFL players in its lawsuit against the NFL pursuant to concussion injuries. Seeger garnered about $1.5 billion to fund medical costs for tens of thousands of NFL veterans suffering from brain-related trauma and brain-related injuries from the gridiron. It appears that former Kansas City Chiefs’ great Larry Johnson is pictured to the right of Seeger. Johnson starred at Penn State and enjoyed a nine year NFL career with the Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington, and Miami Dolphins. The Shock Exchange has been a big fan of Johnson since his nittany lions days. Johnson is also on record as having suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”).
It is likely that Johnson knows Seeger or knows how to get in touch with Seeger. If we could get in contact with Johnson then he could potentially pass along a message to Seeger to settle this opioid deal with Teva, Endo and AbbVie. Larry Johnson was not only a great athlete and football player. He could now be central to getting an opioid settlement finalized.