AG Nessel Files Amicus Brief Supporting a State’s Ability to Coordinate
In support of efforts to address the opioid crisis, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed a motion and amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, supporting the state of Ohio’s request to halt trials that would address legal claims filed by two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. The two county cases are part of the sprawling multi-district litigation pending in the Northern District of Ohio.
Joined by 13 other Attorneys General, including Indiana, Friday’s brief supports Ohio’s efforts to prevent the trials from proceeding based on the concern that it may prejudice the ability of the state to manage litigation to obtain relief on behalf of the entire state, rather than simply the particular counties named in the suit.
The brief makes two main points in support of Ohio’s efforts to prevent the trials to proceed against Purdue Pharma. First, the brief argues that the state, not its subordinate local governments, is the sovereign – as represented by the Attorney General – that is invested with the authority to vindicate the interests that affect the entire state. The opioid crisis is clearly a matter of national and statewide concern. Second, any awards that arise from parties responsible for creating the opioid crisis should be managed by the state to ensure a fair and effective distribution of resources.
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