CLEVELAND – Mark Lanier, lead trial counsel for two Ohio counties in what would have been the first federal trial related to damages caused by the opioid addiction epidemic, says the settlement reached with five Big Pharma defendants should allow devastated communities to receive aid quickly.
“The key consideration was to get financial relief as quickly as possible to the local governments that have paid the price for this epidemic for many years,” he said. “This incremental step will change a small corner of the globe ravaged by opioids. We need to make this a step ladder to a larger resolution.”
Opening arguments were scheduled to be heard beginning October 21 in the court of Dan A. Polster of the Northern District of Ohio. Mr. Lanier says the last-minute settlement is a tribute to the collective preparation of the team of plaintiffs’ attorneys involved, which resulted in overwhelming evidence against the defendants.
“The trail of documents and testimony we assembled clearly showed conspiratorial corporate behavior that promoted the abuse of and addiction to these dangerous drugs,” Mr. Lanier said. “The weight of that evidence was insurmountable and brought about this settlement.”
Counsel for the trial with Mr. Lanier included Peter Weinberger of Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, Donald Migliori of Motley Rice LLC, and Hunter Shkolnik of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC.
For more than 30 years, the men and women at the Lanier Law Firm have worked tirelessly throughout the United States to find unique and effective solutions for their clients. More than 60 skilled attorneys practice law in a broad array of areas, including business litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, asbestos exposure, oil and gas litigation, and personal injury as well as defective and dangerous products, among others. Named an Elite Trial Law Firm by The National Law Journal, the Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York, and Los Angeles.