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Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced that the Department of Justice has filed a motion to participate in settlement discussions and as a “friend of the court” in the ongoing Multi-District Litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“Following the leadership of President Trump, for the past year the Department of Justice has vigorously fought the prescription opioid crisis, deploying new tools and resources to stop the traffickers and corrupt medical professionals who are profiting off of addiction,” said Attorney General Sessions. “We are determined to continue making progress. Today, we are taking a new step to help those who have suffered the consequences of the opioid epidemic by offering our assistance as friend of the Court in ongoing litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors. We have already filed a statement of interest in this case, arguing that the taxpayer has paid a heavy price because of dishonest opioid marketing practices, and deserves to be compensated. Now we are formally seeking to provide the federal government’s expertise and legal counsel to the court on a potential settlement. We are determined to see that justice is done in this case and that ultimately we end this nation’s unprecedented drug crisis.”
A “friend of the court” is not a direct party to the case, but provides information and expertise that may help achieve justice in the case.
The Department’s participation, if granted by the court, will ensure that the court will be better able to consider the national consequences of the case, and in particular any legal obligations of settling parties to reimburse the federal treasury.
In addition to this filing, the United States is pursuing its own actions against bad actors at every level of the opioid distribution system through the Prescription Interdiction and Litigation (PIL) Task Force, which Attorney General Sessions created in February.
The Attorney General has directed the PIL Task Force to examine existing state and local government lawsuits against opioid manufacturers to determine what assistance, if any, federal law can provide in those lawsuits.
Today’s filing will build on a number of new initiatives begun by Attorney General Sessions over the past year that will help us end the drug crisis, including the following:
Note: To view the Motion to Participate in Settlement Discussion and as Friend of the Court click here.