Native American Participation in the National Opioid Epidemic Litigation

Native American Governments and Tribal Health Clinics Are Suffering Real Provable Damages

Increased medical costs; social services costs; child welfare costs; law enforcement costs; court costs; incarceration costs; loss of productivity amongst tribal membership; wrongful death of members; lost opportunities for the Tribe and its membership are real costs caused by opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Addicted parents, removal of children from parents, and infants born addicted pose a direct threat to the continuation of Native American culture, identity, and membership. There is a significant lack of resources for education, treatment, prevention, and public safety in tribal communities to address this drug epidemic, threatening First Nations, their members and the future of Native peoples.

Let us discuss litigation with your leadership. Our litigation team would provide representation on a contingency fee basis, with all expenses carried by our team of law firms. No recovery means nothing owed. We drafted the base complaint against the opioid manufacturers and distributors, and all preliminary research is done. We can quickly file the litigation.

Our firms are at the forefront of the national opioid litigation already, and the Native American Tribes who get cases filed early will be in a very good position to be leaders in the litigation.

Opioid Epidemic hits Native Americans Hard


In 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General declared that the “prescription opioid epidemic that is sweeping across the U.S. has hit American Indian populations particularly hard.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rates of death from prescription opioid overdose among American Indian or Alaska Natives increased from 1.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 8.4 per 100,000 in 2014.

Tribes Are Standing on the Sidelines


A major lesson learned by Native American communities during the tobacco settlements is that First Nations stood on the side lines and by the time they got organized it was too late. American Tribes were not included in the Master Tobacco Settlement.

More than a hundred governments have figured out that they need to be plaintiffs but again Tribal Governments are standing by. Only Tribes who join will be able to participate in any future settlements.

Native American Filings

Plaintiff Names:
All four Nebraska Indian Nations–the Omaha, Ponca, Santee Sioux and Winnebago Tribes are taking on the prescription drug manufacturers, distributors and sellers that have advanced the U.S.’ growing opioid addiction epidemic.

Defendant Names:
An array of prescription drug manufacturers, distributors and sellers that have advanced the U.S.’ growing opioid addiction epidemic, including Walgreens, Purdue Pharma, and Johnson & Johnson

Suits filed:
April 25, 2018 in U.S. District Court in Nebraska-Omaha

Summary of Claims:
Opioid addiction is the nation’s biggest public health crisis in more than 100 years and it is important for tribes to stand up and speak out as the U.S. Surgeon General has said  the opioid epidemic has hit American Indian populations particularly hard.

Summary of Plaintiffs:
Native Americans are two times more likely to become addicted to opioids than other Americans and three times more likely to die.
Native American: MDL TRACK Update

UPDATE REGARDING SUITS FILED ON BEHALF OF  all four Nebraska Indian Nations–the Omaha, Ponca, Santee Sioux and Winnebago Tribes

Defendant Names:
An array of prescription drug manufacturers, distributors and sellers that have advanced the U.S.’ growing opioid addiction epidemic, including Walgreens, Purdue Pharma, and Johnson & Johnson

MDL REQUEST FILED: MAY 28, 2018 in US District Court, Northern District of Ohio/Eastern Division

ORIGINAL SUITS FILED:
April 25, 2018 in U.S. District Court in Nebraska-Omaha

Summary of action:
Mr. Domina has called on the U.S. District Court Judge Dan A. Polster to create a separate Tribal Government Track within the MDL in order to recognize tribal sovereignty and a host of legal, medical and cultural issues specific to Native American Nations.

Summary of Plaintiffs:
Native Americans are two times more likely to become addicted to opioids than other Americans and three times more likely to die. The MDL litigation track issues range from Indian Child Welfare Act concerns, to unique tribal justice and law enforcement procedures. At the center of this is the Indian Health Service, a federal agency that provides the vast majority of medical care for Native Americans, according to Mr. Domina. He argues that a separate Tribal Government track can more effectively investigate matters about how opioids were tested, marketed, and distributed in ways that the companies knew or should have known would have unique impacts on Native Americans and on Tribal Reservations.

Media published to date:
See: Law360 Articles Opioid Native– Americans Articles May 21.pdf

Release: http://www.brylskicompany.com/press-releases/federal-judge-considering-native-american-tribal-suit-track-in-national-opioid-crisis-litigation

 

Native American FILINGS: LOUISIANA

The team’s lead attorneys for litigation recovery have represented thousands of clients and recovered billions of dollars for their clients through repeated success in high-stakes litigation. They are the ideal litigation recovery team in this nation’s opioid crisis.

Attorneys

Ralph Alexis III – Trusted by multiple tribes with their issues in the nation’s opioid epidemic, Mr. Alexis is a 40-year-veteran in protecting the legal and civil rights of harmed individuals and families through successful litigation.

Medical Expert

Brent Bell PA-C, Ph.D – Brent Bell has practiced medicine for twenty six years, all in the World’s Largest Medical Center in Houston, Texas. The majority of his tenure was spent at both MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist. He graduated in 1993 as a Physician Assistant and entered practice at the beginning of the opioid crisis. His entire career was in Oncology, where opioids played a very necessary role. Brent has published extensively and has many credits and accolades regarding his clinical research. He is highly regarded by both patients as their advocate and by physicians, many of them chairmen of their departments, for running their world class services. Brent was one of two initial team leaders who implemented the MD Anderson Physician Assistant Residency Program in Oncology which still functions because of his efforts to this day.

Our team of renowned experts is already building a damage model that will capture the extent of the economic loss suffered by Americans, their families, businesses and communities because of the additional unrecompensed expenses and stress on resources that have come with the Opioid Crisis. Our experts are also developing proposals to bring communities the resources they need to fight the causes of the Opioid Crisis and deal with its effects.


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