Our Dangerous Drug FAQsGet Help Now
Those who are injured or become ill after taking prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications often have questions regarding their current situations, futures, and legal options. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions that dangerous drug victims ask.
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How is Neblett, Beard and Arsenault involved in the Opioid Litigation?
NBA proudly represents a number of local municipalities, parishes, sheriffs and governmental entities across the State of Louisiana. We represent these local governmental entities and offices in an effort to recoup the costs and expenses the opioid crisis has caused them to incur, as well as in hopes of recovering monies for these entities to utilize in abating, mitigating and curbing the opioid epidemic and issues in their communities. NBA also proudly represents a number of municipalities in Puerto Rico, as well as a number of private healthcare providers, including hospitals and emergency room physician groups in Louisiana and throughout the country.
What is the Opioid Crisis?
In short, the opioid crisis - sometimes also referred to as the “opioid epidemic” - broadly refers to the devastating social and economic effects caused by the unlawful marketing and distribution of opioid pain medications by nationwide manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacies. These detrimental effects include the vast number of individual deaths caused by opioid or drug-related overdoses, the steep increase in drug-related crime and law enforcement gatewayed by opioid use, increase in addiction treatment costs and expenses for treating opioid dependency, and the immense amount of governmental resources expended to help the local communities manage these issues.
What is the Opioid Litigation?
The Opioid Litigation generally refers to the collective number of lawsuits (in the thousands) that have been filed around the country. There are several separate opioid litigations pending throughout the country in both state and federal courts. The largest litigation in the country is the national MDL – Multi-District Litigation – pending in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.
What is an MDL?
MDL generally refers to a federal procedural mechanism developed and instituted in the late 1960s to assist the federal judiciary in managing complex (and often very large) litigations pending in multiple federal courts across the country. Congress enacted the federal “MDL” statute – 28 USC 1407 – in 1968, and charged the US Supreme Court with promulgating rules for its practice. This statute created the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (MDL Panel), which assesses and determines the need for an MDL. In essence, where there is a number of cases pending in various different federal courts around the country concerning one or more common questions of fact and the same pharmaceutical drug, medical device or consumer issues, the Judicial Panel on Multi-district litigation may consider consolidation and transfer of all those similar cases to one single federal district court for purposes of coordinated pre-trial proceedings. This practice centers on the over-arching purpose of judicial efficiency.
What is the national Opiate MDL?
The national Opiate MDL (MDL 2804) was created in December 2017. Currently over 1,800 lawsuits have been consolidated and transferred to the federal court in Cleveland, Ohio (Northern District of Ohio) before the very experienced and well-educated MDL Judge Dan Polster. Pre-trial proceedings (i.e. discovery) have been ongoing since December 2017. There will be some trials conducted in the MDL – the first of which is scheduled to begin in October 2019. The hope is that these trials – also called “bellwether” trials – will aid the Court and Parties in better understanding what legal claims are viable (i.e. if there is enough evidence to support the variety of claims asserted) and the value of these claims. These are real trials which will result in real jury verdicts and final judgments. The idea is that these bellwether trials will better assist the Parties in assessing and negotiating some sort of global financial resolution of the thousands of cases pending in federal court.
What is the end goal or best possible outcome of the Opioid Litigation?
The Opioid Litigation is unprecedented and brings with it uncharted waters in terms of expectations concerning the best possible outcome.
The end goal or best possible outcome of the Opioid Litigation is to result in some sort of financial resolution, whereby a large pot of money (paid for by the corporate defendant opioid manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacies) can be spread out amongst the thousands of claimants and plaintiffs to help manage and curb the opioid crisis on both the national and local level.
These monies can help state and local entities to mitigate or abate about the public nuisance of the opioid crisis by funding opioid abuse and dependency awareness programs, funding treatment and community outreach programs, and replenish or recoup lost resources caused by the opioid crisis; as well as make private entities such as hospitals and private healthcare companies whole for the financial losses sustained as a result of the opioid crisis.