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Bryant Urges City to Join Opioid Litigation
By Leah Long
PADUCAH - On Tuesday evening, Paducah's City Commission was presented with information from local attorney Mark Bryant, urging them to join a multi-state opioid litigation case.

According to statistics Bryant provided, in the last five years Paducah and McCracken County has had 88 opioid-related deaths, which is the highest in the western Kentucky region.

Bryant said the biggest problem is with Purdue Pharmaceutical, which has settled with Kentucky for $24 million. But he emphasized that they have not settled with the City of Paducah or McCracken County. He said a settlement could benefit the city and county as they deal with law enforcement and mental health costs associated with the opioid problem. Bryant said communities spend money on police overtime and on the criminal justice system, and those things are damages the multi-state lawsuit would be able to recover.

"If we don't get involved in it we can't recover from it.  We cannot rely on Frankfort to let the money trickle down to us.  And what I have to offer to you is if you got any issues with me, you want to talk about this case, all I got to do is walk across the street and I can talk to you and I'll be glad to do that and you can count on me to do it," said Bryant.

Bryant was joined by his partners Emily Roark and David Bryant.Roark pointed out the problem is widespread and involves the over-prescribing of opioids, which she said are "prescribed like candy," and often end up being sold on the streets.

Bryant told the commissioners he has become involved in opioid litigation around the country, involving lawsuits against major pharmaceutical companies. According to Bryant, he has partnered with a law firm from Birmingham, Alabama and is representing communities as far away as Key West, Florida, other Florida cities, and towns in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Just recently, he has began representing cities and counties in Kentucky.

Bryant said that someone from his firm will speak to the McCracken Fiscal Court at its Feb. 26 meeting about representing McCracken County.  He said there is no deadline for joining the class action lawsuit, but noted it would behoove the city to act quickly.

 

Published 08:14 PM, Tuesday Feb. 13, 2018
Updated 09:19 PM, Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018

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