Times Reporter | Commissioners approve new contract for representation in opioid lawsuit

Originally posted January 31, 2020

The Times Reporter

NEW PHILADELPHIA Commissioners have signed a new contract with the law firms representing Tuscarawas County in its lawsuit seeking to recover damages from opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The main reason for the new contract and fee agreement approved Wednesday was to retain attorney Josh O’Farrell as local counsel for the county. When commissioners filed the suit in 2019, O’Farrell worked for the Tzangas Plakas Mannos law firm. He has since become a partner in the firm of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC.

The lawsuit, filed in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court, alleges claims relating to the deceptive marketing, distribution and sale of opioids in violation of Ohio law.

Named as defendants are some of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the United States, such as Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Endo Pharmaceuticals, as well as CVS and Walgreens.

In 2018, commissioners teamed with nationwide law firm Motley Rice LLC and partnering firms to join nationwide litigation involving nearly 2,000 lawsuits against makers and distributors of opioid painkillers.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Josh O’Farrell as our local counsel in the opioid litigation,” said Prosecutor Ryan Styer. “Josh is not only a proven litigator and counselor, but he grew up here and cares about the county.

Read the full story here.