Tuscarawas County Moves Opioid Litigation to Buckingham with Attorney O’Farrell
NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio – The Board of Tuscarawas County Commissioners has updated its fee agreement in the ongoing lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The County will continue to be represented by Motley Rice LLC, a nationwide law firm, and Attorney Joshua E. O’Farrell, who recently became a Partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC, a firm with offices in Canton, Akron, and Cleveland.
Last January, the Commissioners joined more than 400 other plaintiffs by filing a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies. The suit is currently pending in federal court.
County Prosecutor Ryan Styer, who assisted in preparing the complaint and is also a party in the suit, stated, “We look forward to continuing to work with Josh O’Farrell as our local counsel in the opioid litigation. Josh is not only a proven litigator and counselor, but he grew up here and cares about the county. The updates are structured so that it changes nothing of substance for the county. The contract reflects the same terms that we originally negotiated. It literally costs the county nothing more. And, as he has for over a year, Josh will continue work closely with Motley Rice to represent the County. It’s really a no-brainer.”
There have been nearly 3,000 lawsuits incorporated into a group of federal cases called a multi-district litigation (MDL) against companies allegedly deemed responsible for the opioid epidemic. The cases from multiple districts are all assigned to the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland. Named as defendants are some of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies in the United States, such as Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Endo Pharmaceuticals, as well as CVS and Walgreens.
In October of 2019, Johnson & Johnson reached a $20.4 million settlement with Summit and Cuyahoga counties, while distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson pledged to pay $215 million. Other cases are still pending.
In December, 2019, O’Farrell left Tzangas Plakas Mannos in Canton and joined Buckingham as a Partner.
“I am honored to represent Tuscarawas County and will do everything possible to ensure the County’s and its residents’ interests are protected in this important litigation.” said O’Farrell. “The Opioid Epidemic ripped through this region devastating communities and destroying families. It is imperative that those who created and perpetuated this crisis are held responsible. That is exactly what we intend to accomplish in this lawsuit.”
About Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs:
Buckingham is a corporate and litigation law firm that counsels Middle Market executives and business leaders all over Ohio and beyond. With offices in Akron, Canton and Cleveland, Buckingham offers clients sophisticated and practical legal services. Serving the region for over 100 years, Buckingham’s mission is to deliver meaningful experiences through the practice of law, exceed expectations in terms of service, counsel and business sense, and to offer continuous value to the industries, communities and clients they serve. Visit bdblaw.com to learn more.