Leon County Commission Approves Plan Related to Opioid Litigation

Leon County Commission Approves Plan Related to Opioid Litigation

The Leon County Board of County Commissioners approved a bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma, L.P. during the July 13, 2021, commission meeting.

In June 2018, Leon County entered into a contract with Levin Papantonio, P.A., and Parks Law, LLC, to represent the county in a multi-district opioid litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

In the 1990’s, Purdue Pharma—a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical manufacturer—developed a powerful new opioid painkiller, Oxycontin. According to documents, Purdue engaged in aggressive marketing of the drug, denying its highly addictive properties.

The result of this effort was to greatly expand the market for opioid medications and greatly expand the number of people using opioids. Not
surprisingly, there followed a dramatic increase in the number of people who became addicted to opioids, leading to death, incapacitation, family dysfunction, crime and social problems. These consequences were devastating not only to the individuals involved, but also to all levels of
government, which had to bear increasing costs of health care and social services provided to their citizens who became addicted to opioids and subsequently, in many cases, to heroin, fentanyl and other similar opiates.

As a result of the litigation, Purdue has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As part of the process, all creditors who filed a “proof of claim” against the bankruptcy estate are being asked to vote on the plan. Approximately 600,00 creditors have filed claims, including claims on behalf of nearly 6,000 local governments.

The Purdue Bankruptcy Plan seeks to resolve the case by settlement. Under the plan the assets of Purdue Pharma would be transferred to a new corporation and owned by the public creditors of Purdue. The combined assets of the bankruptcy estate would be allocated to creditors, insurers, hospitals, and individual plaintiffs, the remaining sum, estimated to be nearly $5 billion, will be allocated to state, local, and tribal governments. All funds received from the settlement would be required to be used for abatement of the opioid problem in their communities.

The proposed settlement is currently before the bankruptcy court for final confirmation and the hearing is scheduled for August 9, 2021. It is expected the court will have a decision whether to confirm the plan in September or October.

The State of Florida Office of Attorney General (OAG) has been negotiating an agreement with local governments in Florida that would govern the distribution of all opioid litigation proceeds, if the bankruptcy plan is confirmed.

Leon county does not have a population greater than 400,000 and, therefore, would not receive proceeds directly in the form of a block grant. Instead, the funds would be subject to a “Government Participation Mechanism” to be developed by the state of Florida and its local governments.

6 Responses to "Leon County Commission Approves Plan Related to Opioid Litigation"

  1. It’s not Big Pharma that you need to go after, THEY don’t prescribe it, Doctors do. I have FULL Bottles of Oxycontin and others in my Medicine Cabinet which I don’t take BECAUSE they are very addictive. Instead of prescribing me 5 or 6, I get 30 for that “Just In Case” I need it later for something else. Of ALL the Bottles I have, at most, only 1 or 2 will be missing.

  2. @ Ann… I completely agree with your premise on personal responsibility. If only the left-wing nuts would apply that to their oft refrain of “gun” violence. Guns do not commit violence. As always, it is not the weapon in their hand, it’s the evil in their heart. That said… as it is not the federal governments’ job to “create jobs” – and they don’t, no matter what they falsely claim… it is their job to put forth policy and create the environment for job growth.

    I do freely and willingly assign partial blame to the federal government (particularly the current Dementia Joe Biden Sadministration) for putting forth policy, and creating the environment that aides and abets the present rise in crime, drug use, OD’s, and infectious disease.

  3. I don’t think this has anything to do with people’s poor choices and how it affects them personally. This is more about how much it costs taxpayers to pay for those poor choices. As much as many people don’t like socialism, including me, theres still a cost to society as a whole. Drug companies can’t just take in the cash and leave us holding the bill.

  4. Ed,

    Whither your personal responsibility ethos? This has always been a problem for the Patriots around here; this populace fueled the last crisis.

    Could it be these people just have nothing better to do but get high? Why can’t they exercise their freedom and just not take these poisons? I thought everyone here had pride above and beyond the average American? Why do we care about this if they willingly made this choice? Isn’t it their personal responsibility?

    Moreover, you of all people are blaming the federal government for people’s personal choices? And sticking up for people that will just not take care of themselves, and makes it everyone else’s problem unless the government steps in?

    Sounds like personal responsibility is “rules for thee and not for me.”

    The people, culture and the parenting here is the problem, it’s just too scary to admit.

  5. We can go after Big Pharma legal drug pushers for the Opioid crisis but we must hold the experimental Death Jab Big Pharma drug pushers harmless and in fact treat them as holy and sacred entities not to be challenged?

  6. I understand this angle… but Fentanyl has replaced Opioids as the smack of choice. And since every aspect of its manufacturing, distributing, and sales are aided and abetted by the current DC Sadministration’s policies and lack of action to protect our Nation and honor their sworn duty… when will they be held accountable for the countless of deaths they have caused?

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