U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Federal Judge Orders Opioid Case Lawyers End the Crisis

During a conference with over a 100 lawyers in his courtroom, District Court Judge Dan Polster, who has been assigned to handle the consolidated multi-district litigation in the Opioid crisis cases, demanded that the parties in the extraordinarily complex litigation try to figure out a way to settle the whole matter.

In his remarks, Judge Polster explained his belief that everyone in litigation is somewhat responsible for the current opioid epidemic. From the doctors to drug makers, distributors, hospitals, and even governments and individuals, Judge Polster believes there's plenty of blame to share, but that pointing fingers just isn't worthwhile. He explained that on that day, based on the numbers, 150 individuals would die due to opioids.

"A Meaningful Resolution"

Judge Polster explained that he was less interested in money being on the table in the settlement than he was a meaningful resolution that would combat the current problem that won't slow down without serious action. He basically begged all the lawyers to not go through with the litigation because it is bound to be a long, drawn out process, which would likely only prolong the end result of what needs to be done, regardless of the litigation: fix the opioid crisis.

Judge Polster explicitly stated his belief that the end-goal is to reduce the number of opioid pills out there, and to ensure those that are out there, are used properly, rather than abused. Specifically, the justice wants treatment and resolution of the crisis to be part of the settlement.

Who Cares About the Legally Fascinating Parts?

Interestingly, Judge Polster postulated that the public doesn't care about the interesting legal issues raised by the many cases. Rather, the public cares about a resolution that will put an end to the epidemic and crisis.

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