Harrison Co. Commission moves to fight opioid lawsuit in state court, opting out of Federal class settlement discussions

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A local attorney involved in the ongoing federal opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers has asked the Harrison County Commission to withdraw the county from the multi-district legislation currently pending in federal court.

Attorney Sam Madia told the commission Wednesday that it would be better to opt out of the class settlement discussions in federal court and continue to fight the drug makers in state court.

Madia said the money the county would receive from the federal settlement would not be a large enough share of the pie and the county stands to gain more by opting out.

“We don’t want to be a part of those settlement discussions,” Madia said. “We want our cases heard in state court, they’ll be heard in state court and we want to have our own shot at these defendants. We don’t want to be told, ‘Here’s a number, you’re going to live with it,’ we’re going to do the negotiating on behalf of our counties and we’ll hold these defendants liable in our state court.”

The commission moved to accept the proposal to opt-out, pending a similar recommendation from Harrison County prosecutor Rachel Romano.

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