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Recent Legal Actions on behalf of opioid-exposed babies and children

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Track: Class actions filed on behalf of children who will need life-long medical and other specialized care because of opioid-addicted pregnant moms

These cases seek to create a court-administered, continually-replenishing, dedicated no-limit nation-wide fund to provide for the short and long-term treatment of NAS affected infants who will require lifelong medical and therapeutic assistance. The financial responsibility for this fund is put on the prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers named in the suits rather than on cash-strapped government budgets and taxpayers.

—NAS MDL Updates—

SEPT 19 STATEMENT
WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE RESOURCES AND ATTORNEYS OF THE OPIOID JUSTICE TEAM TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR NAS BABIES
Aggressive legal actions on behalf of NAS Babies taken: June 19 releases
Sept. 20 filing for separate NAS Baby MDL

Sept. 20 filing for separate NAS Baby MDL

Relative to:
Rees v. McKesson Corporation, et al.
S.D. IL, C.A. #18-00511; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45252
Wood v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
E.D. MO, C.A. #18-00385; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45264
Salmons v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
S.D. WV, C.A. #18-00385; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45268;
Ambrosio v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
C.D. CA, C.A. #18-02201; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45375
Flanagan v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
W.D. TN, C.A. #18-02194; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45405
Whitley, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
W.D. TN, C.A. #18-02290; MDL Case #1:18-OP-45598
Roach v. McKesson Corporation, et al.
E.D. LA, C.A. #18-04165; MDL Case No. #1:18-OP-45662
Hunt v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al
D. MD, C.A. #18-01349; MDL Case No. #1:18-OP-45681

Motion: 
To establish a separate NAS Baby Track

Plaintiffs ask that the Court issue one or more Orders creating a separate discovery and litigation track for centralized discovery, case development, and bellwether trial(s) of Opioid Baby claims in this MDL. The relief requested requires modification of this Court=s CMO #1 in MDL 2804. It likely also requires a new Case Management Order governing the new track, which Plaintiffs are prepared to propose to the Court.

Suits filed: Sept. 20, 2018 before US Judicial Panel on MDL

Summary of Claims:
Actions taken by the Opioid Justice Team legal-medical-child advocacy partnership over the past month are calling into question exactly how best to craft a master settlement agreement within Multi-District Litigation now being negotiated by a federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio as it concerns the growing number of opioid-dependent newborns resulting from America’s synthetic drug crisis. The coalition of attorneys and medical experts advocating on behalf of opioid-dependent infants born and afflicted with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) petitioned this week to have a new and separate legal track or MDL created just for the long-term care of this special class of citizens.
Last month, a class action filed in Ohio on behalf of NAS babies asked to be removed from the current MDL. West Virginia attorneys filed a supporting brief to this action. In May, a request to include a NAS Baby track within the existing MDL was rejected by the federal Judge charged with control over the growing claims against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The argument advanced in this latest legal filing is that NAS babies and their caregivers will face a life-time of medical monitoring and specialized care because of opioid exposure in the womb. Medical experts Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand of Stanford University and Dr. Charles Werntz of West Virginia University argue that it is important to treat the NAS child as quickly as possible to promote the child’s long-term growth and development. Non-profits, like the organization Facing Addiction, agree.

Summary of Plaintiffs:
The previous class-actions filed in the MDL but rejected from a separate MDL track in May, 2018 by MDL Judge Polster.

Plaintiff/Lawyer/Media contact info:
Attorneys: Scott Bickford (504) 581-9065 or Celeste Brustowicz (504) 399-0009

Media published to date:
https://www.law360.com/classaction/articles/1084765?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=section

Filings:

NDOH – 895-4NDOH – 895-3NDOH 985-2NDOH 985-1Distributors OppositionManufacturer DefendantsProof of ServiceSchedule of ActionsStatement re Oral ArgumentNew MDL Needed for ‘Opioid BabiesExhibit 22- Neonatal Abstainance Monitoring Report (Werntz – 08.30.18)SUPPORTING EXHIBITSSUPPORTING EXHIBITS – Rees MotionSUPPORTING EXHIBITS – DeniedSUPPORTING EXHIBITS – Rules of Drug

August 30 Filing to Vacate MDL

August 30 Filing to Vacate MDL

Regarding: 
Cases consolidated in MDL regarding NAS Baby Classes, referencing Doyle v. Actavis LLC et al of Ohio

Petition to US Judicial Panel on MDL 

Filed: August 30, 2018

Summary of Claims: 
OJT attorneys representing class actions filed on behalf of babies who will need life-long medical and other specialized care because of opioid use by their pregnant moms are requesting U.S. District Court Judge Dan A. Polster remove such cases from inclusion in Multi-District Litigation. The filings represent at least 40 percent of all Neo-Natal Abstinence (NAS) or opioid-addicted babies born in the nation, according to Lead Counsel Scott Bickford, Suits are filed in states such as Louisiana, West Virginia, Illinois, California and Missouri. Earlier this summer, the Judge rejected legal petition for creation of a nationwide medical monitoring trust fund for NAS babies within the existing MDL litigation regarding prescription opioids.

Plaintiff/Lawyer/Media contact info:
Attorneys: Scott Bickford (504) 581-9065 or Celeste Brustowicz (504) 399-0009

 

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS – Motion to vacateBACKGROUND DOCUMENTS – ND OrderBACKGROUND DOCUMENTS – Vacate ExhibitsBACKGROUND DOCUMENTS – Letter

The worst part of America’s growing opioid addiction epidemic is the unintended victims: Men and women who became unwitting users because they were simply following their doctor’s orders on use of prescribed medications. Here are some articles compiled by our medical experts which explore the statistical scope of this crisis.

Recent press coverage of NAS Baby filings

Why the Real Victims of the Opioid Crisis—Like Drug-Dependent Babies—May Not Get Much of the Settlement Money
Time

Open Article

Lawyers for Opioid-Addicted Babies Push For Seperate Legal Proceedings
Bloomberg Law

Open Article

Opioids’ Most Innocent Victims
Cleveland.com

Open Article

Attys Relaunch Bid For ‘Opioid Babies’ Track In MDL
Law 360

Open Article

In the Opioid Litigation, Who Represents Addicted Babies
The National Journal

Open Article

New MDL Needed for ‘Opioid Babies,’ Attys Say
Law 360

Open Article