11/20/2019- The City of Marinette is joining in on the largest multi-district lawsuit in US history. The Common Council voted Tuesday to approve an agreement with a trio of law firms for representation in the ongoing litigation against major opioid manufacturers. Plaintiffs nationwide, now including Marinette, allege these drug producers aggressively marketed opioid medication while downplaying their risks of addiction and overdose, leaving local governments to deal with the fallout like increases in criminal activity and health and human services costs. Attorney Alex Dravillas says, with Marinette formally named in the lawsuit, the City will be better poised to see a share of any potential payout.
“You would be giving yourselves an opportunity to have a voice in negotiating when it comes to sitting and the table and figuring out one: how is this money going to be split up if there is a global settlement? And two: how can we maximize our ability to get the most for the people in Marinette who’ve had to deal with the burden of the opioid crisis?”
There are more than 2000 different municipalities involved in the lawsuit, which is being handled by a federal court in Ohio, however, if a settlement can’t be reached in the matter, the individual cases will be sent back to their original jurisdictions for trial. There’s no upfront fee to the City to get involved in the litigation. The attorney’s fees will be one-third of any gross recovery paid to Marinette if or when a settlement is reached.