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USA: 30 Kansas counties & cities currently suing opioid industry

"Here are the nearly 30 Kansas Counties and cities taking on the opioid industry", 9 Nov 2019

More than two dozen cities and counties across Kansas have sued the opioid industry, from a small town with a population of 150 near the Colorado border to the state’s most populous county at its opposite end.

More may still file suits, legal experts say. And those that don’t could get a payout regardless if opioid makers, distributors and vendors opt for a global settlement. That would not only end the massive snarl of lawsuits brought by 2,600 parties nationwide but also prevent tens of thousands of other local governments from taking them to court, too.

Cities and counties that are currently going through the legal process see settling as a way to get addiction-rattled communities resources sooner rather than later.

Attorney Patrick Smith, of Pittsburg, represents the southeast Kansas counties of Neosho and Crawford.

“(Lawsuits) cost money to pursue for one thing,” he said. “At some point … the money in hand is better for the client than risking additional time and litigation.”...

The Kansas News Service identified 28 governments in Kansas among the nearly 2,600 parties nationally.

A federal judge in Ohio is coordinating pretrial steps for the thousands of lawsuits under what’s called the National Prescription Opiate Litigation...

The judge is encouraging a broader resolution, paving the way for unprecedented class-action-style negotiations on behalf of cities and counties across the U.S. that would ultimately ask them all to vote before finalizing settlements.