In a public nuisance lawsuit, what are the damages? What these municipalities, your States, your counties, your towns are trying to get is an abatement of the nuisance. And what that is is that’s three components. It’s going to be law enforcement. It’s going to be education and treatment. So what essentially these towns, counties and states are looking for is money to create programs that help law enforcement resolve the street-level problem, create therapeutic courts or other therapeutic methods so that people can, shake off the addiction and education, as simple as going into a senior center and telling people that that bottle of pills in your medicine chest is the same thing as a crack pipe. So that’s really what these main plaintiffs are looking for. Compounding or complicating all of this, is the bankruptcy of the largest manufacturer, the brand name manufacturer of OxyContin and opioid pain medication, Purdue Pharmaceutical.
By the time you read this, their plan under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code may already be in place and have potentially been voted on. So they are going to emerge from bankruptcy, but they’re not going to emerge as Purdue Pharmaceutical. That company is going to cease to exist. The Sackler Family are going to at least keep some of their wealth, but there will be payment, not only for these entities that have filed lawsuits, whether they are governments, whether they are tribes, whether they are hospitals, but also there was a carve out for individual plaintiffs. As long as you, the, that plaintiff filed a proof of claim by the end of July, 2020, that claim can be considered and there will probably be a small amount of settlement for those 130,000 claimants. So what should you be looking for as you follow this particular litigation? There’s a couple of big bellwether trials coming up in the Northern District of Ohio, where most of these cases are based.
There’ll be a lot more information about that as the bankruptcy plan moves into approval. And those certain carve outs for municipalities, for plaintiffs’ personal injury, individual plaintiffs’ personal injury, and all of that starts to run into place. So you really want to look at those, those particular issues. You want to see how that case in the Northern district of Ohio plays out how the West Virginia Case. New York State will even have their state case coming up, which involves two counties and the state’s Attorney General case. That one is going to bear watching. So as you follow this particular, issue in the news, look for those, those news stories to tell you where this litigation is going to be headed in the future.
You can check out the latest video in my series on opioids here.