The attorneys at Daniel | Thomas are proud to be a part of the fight against the opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 there were over 72,000 opiate-related deaths in the United States – that’s over 200 deaths per day. If that is not an astounding number to you, think about this: the U.S. life-expectancy age has been lowered for the first time in history - since we have been keeping life expectancy data - and it can be solely attributed to the opioid crisis that we’re now in.
For the past year, we at Daniel | Thomas have been working with a select group of attorneys across the state of North Carolina and have teamed up with a national consortium of attorneys to represent North Carolina Counties and Cities in the National Opioid MDL (Multi-District Litigation). North Carolina Counties and Cities have hired our conglomerate group of attorneys to bring individual lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and wholesale distributors and are seeking damages for the havoc that’s been wreaked in communities due to the overwhelming influx of opioids.
Some of the claims that are being brought against the opioid manufacturers and wholesale distributors in the MDL are claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, actions to abate public nuisances, actions for deceptive trade practices, and actions for violations of the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) to name a few. The North Carolina Counties and Cities that have hired our group of attorneys to pursue claims are filing suit in Federal Court, and all pre-trial motions and discovery matters are being dealt with by Judge Dan Polster in the Northern District of Ohio. In the event that a County’s or a City’s case goes to trial, it will be brought back to the Federal District in North Carolina where the suit is filed. Three (3) cases out of all those pending in the National Opioid MDL have been selected to be tried as “bellwether” cases (test cases), and those are as of right now set to be tried in September 2019.
To date, over 50 of the 100 NC Counties, and 6 NC Cities, have hired our NC group of attorneys, along with our national group of attorneys, to litigate claims in the National Opioid Litigation. In addition to the NC clients that our team represents, our national attorneys represent a total of approximately 600 clients across the country, including States, Counties, Cities, and Sovereign Nations. Right now, the total number of suits currently pending in the National Opioid MDL is around 1,150 cases, so our national team represents roughly half of all cases filed in the United States.
We at Daniel | Thomas are also working with Counties and Cities in Virginia for this National Opioid Litigation. We have been hard at work talking to potential clients and bringing them on board for the litigation over the past year in North Carolina, and Counties and Cities all across Virginia have recently become interested in being a part of it as well.
In addition to representing entities like Counties and Cities, the attorneys at Daniel | Thomas are taking on individual claims for folks that have become severely addicted to opioids, which has led to harmful outcomes such as multiple overdoses, illicit drug use, loss of earning ability, medical problems and expenses, and even death. Many people have become severely addicted to opioids due to opioid over-prescription and have suffered severe consequences as a result. Not only have people lost loved ones to overdoses, but babies are being born with NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome), which means that babies have been exposed to drugs like opioids while in the womb, have become addicted to opioids while developing in the womb, and after being born now have problems and conditions, including withdrawal symptoms and other complications due to their opioid addiction. Often times, babies with NAS will have life-long issues due to the opioid addiction they developed in the womb.
We are of the opinion that corporations that have had a heavy hand in creating the opioid crisis, and have profited handsomely off of their actions, should contribute and help get us out of this tragic mess.
Three (3) opioid wholesale distributors alone, out of hundreds of opioid distribution companies, reported revenues of ~$150 billion or more in a single year – so three (3) companies who did nothing more than ship opioids from opioid manufacturers to retailers collectively made over $450 billion in one (1) year. Think about those numbers.
If you or a loved one has experienced overdose, death, or a baby born with opioid addiction, please give us a call and we’d be happy to talk.