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MAT Staff October 11, 2019

Nationwide Opioid Class-Action Lawsuit

Townships across Minnesota, along with local governments nationwide, have started to receive notice from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, of a class-action lawsuit between opioid drug makers and local governments. Opioids are narcotic prescription drugs commonly prescribed for pain management. Numerous lawsuits brought by state and local governments allege the opioid producers deceptive marketing practices caused a public health epidemic of increased prescription and illegal drug dependency and overdoses. The class action lawsuit is the Federal Court’s attempt to resolve these many similar lawsuits in one proceeding.

The notice informs each township that it may either remain in the class or opt out of the class. The township must respond by November 22, 2019, to opt out of the lawsuit.

If a township does nothing at all, then it remains in the class. By staying in the class, the township may share in any damage award but it also loses any right to bring its own lawsuit against these defendants on the same issues. The township should not expect any costs for remaining in the class.

If a township opts out of the class, then it may bring it own lawsuit on this matter, but loses any part of the damage awards provided by the class action lawsuit.

Each township must choose for itself which option it prefers.

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