A law firm suing several opioid manufacturers and distributors made its pitch today for Ward County to join in the legal action.
A representative of one of the law firms bringing the lawsuit told county board members there are several area counties already signed on as plaintiffs.
Curtis Olafson said the county and its people would collect much more by entering the litigation directly, rather than hoping for a piece of what the state might collect.
He says the current lawsuit provides a separate fund to pay local governments such as cities and counties.
(Curtis Olafson, Law Firm Representative) “Any attorney general can only recover damages incurred to the state which are mainly limited to Medicaid damages. You as a county and your fellow counties around the state collectively have far greater damages than the state of North Dakota.”
County board members voted to seek an opinion from the county state’s attorney before deciding whether or not to join the legal proceedings.
The representative making the pitch said its expected this settlement will be the largest in the history of the American legal system.
Currently, the largest settlement in such a case was 206 billion dollars paid by tobacco manufacturers in 1998.