At the February 27th, 2018 Leon County Commission meeting, the Board will consider pursuing litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and even pharmacies for claims regarding pain medications.
In general, the opioid litigation brings claims against those parties for their role in creating the current state of the opioid epidemic, including deceptive marketing to physicians and distributing opioids in violation of State and Federal law.
During 2017 Leon County was approached by a number of law firms or teams of firms seeking to represent Leon County in filing a lawsuit either in State or Federal Court.
Virtually all of the law firms have offered to provide representation to their clients on a contingency fee basis, with reimbursement for costs.
It is alleged that local governments, and in particular, county governments, across the country have spent and continue to spend taxpayer dollars on many facets of the opioid epidemic that could have been used for other public purposes.
In June of 2017 a bipartisan group of forty-one (41) State Attorneys General issued investigative subpoenas and document requests to manufactures and distributors of opioid drugs. This state coalition is seeking this information to determine how these companies marketed and distributed the products.
Three counties in Florida (Pasco, Osceola and Alachua) have selected law firms and have filed litigation utilizing these law firms, other counties (Hillsborough and Palm Beach) have issued Request for Proposals and are in the process of going through the RFP’s for purposes of selecting potential outside counsel for the opioid litigation.
The Board will decide whether to instruct the County Attorney’s Office to pursue the selection of a firm most appropriate for Leon County and pursue filing litigation against appropriate defendants; or issue an RFP for purposes of the Board selecting such outside counsel; or not pursue opioid litigation at the present time.