Tennessee Attorney General Intervenes In Opiod Lawsuits; Says State, Not District Attorneys, Should Take The Lead

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed motions to intervene in three lawsuits brought by district attorneys general against several opioid manufacturers and health care providers. 

 

He said, "This Office moved to intervene to protect the interests of the entire state and its citizens while fulfilling our statutory duty to direct the opioid litigation in the state.

 

“Because of the devastating effects this epidemic is having in Tennessee and across the country, we are pursuing a dual track:  conducting multiple investigations while also exploring settlement options.

 

“We want a global resolution that will provide comprehensive injunctive relief as well as remediation to assist with prevention, treatment, and education efforts.”

 

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office is leading a coalition of approximately 40 states actively investigating opioid manufacturers and distributors.  The coalition is currently engaging in settlement discussions with certain manufacturers and distributors in connection with the federal opioid multi-district litigation pending in Cleveland, Ohio.  Intervention enables the Attorney General’s Office to provide a coordinated and centralized statewide response to the opioid crisis. 

 

“Although this coordinated approach makes the State’s claims stronger and more efficient by addressing them in a statewide manner, the ultimate goal is to maximize a recovery in order to address the epidemic in every community, particularly those hardest hit.

 

"We share the District Attorneys objectives of resolving a devastating epidemic and holding those responsible accountable.  But, the Office disagrees on who should represent the State and assert the State’s claims.  The role of District Attorneys is traditionally in the criminal field, and we respect that role.  These claims are civil claims, not criminal charges.  District Attorneys are seeking remedies for judicial districts when the Attorney General is in the best position to get injunctive relief for the entire state.  This intervention protects the interests of our state as a whole.  The District Attorneys might do so only for their judicial districts.  Further, many of these issues may be eventually negotiated, and it is not practical to have 14 District Attorneys and the Attorney General represent the State’s position.  Each state cannot bring 14 people to the table and expect to accomplish anything. 

 

"Both this Office and the District Attorneys General have the duty to faithfully follow our laws yet, the District Attorneys have hired outside counsel without following the statutory requirements.  By statute the Governor and Attorney General approve engaging outside counsel.  That approval was neither sought nor given and in these cases proves problematic.  Our consistent position has been that all recoveries go to the state and affected areas, not to outside attorneys.  In addition, in one case, the District Attorneys General challenged the constitutionality of a statute.  The District Attorneys General are under an affirmative duty to defend the constitutionality of our laws, not challenge them." 



Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

General Sessions Judge Gary W. Starnes Elected President Of Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference

Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary W. Starnes has been elected president of the Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference (TGSJC) for 2018-2019.   The TGSJC is a statewide organization consisting of 185 general sessions court judges from across the State of Tennessee. Judge Starnes previously served four years on the TGSJC Executive Committee Board and ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (2)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Is This ‘New Voice’?

It’s easy for me to say that I either know, or know about, almost every person running in November for the state legislature. Yet when I describe Lemon Williams as the most exciting of the bunch, that’s because he's the only guy I had never heard of when he picked up his qualifying papers. He just turned out the best political aspirant I have had a conversation with in the last ... (click for more)

Baylor Volleyball Pounds GPS, 3-0

It was just 20 days ago on August 29 when Baylor and GPS faced each other for the first time this season in volleyball.   The match was played at GPS.   The Bruisers lost that day, but they left feeling pretty good after winning a set and giving the defending state champs all they wanted at times. The second match between these two storied rivals at Baylor wasn’t ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about. Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) ... (click for more)