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George Jepsen and Perry Zinn Rowthorn Weigh in on Opioid "Negotiation Class Action" in Cleveland Court

July 18, 2019

Shipman & Goodwin partners George Jepsen (former Connecticut State Attorney General) and Perry Zinn Rowthorn (former Connecticut Chief Deputy Attorney General), co-leaders of the firm's State Attorneys General practice, have authored this op-ed that appeared in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer opposing a proposal to create a class of local governments to negotiate a global settlement with opioid drug companies. In the op-ed, Mr. Jepsen and Mr. Rowthorn argue: "A novel 'negotiation class action' is being hyped as the key to unlocking legal settlements between cities and counties and opioid companies accused of marketing misconduct. In reality, it is a trap for unwary local governments, tying their hands and ceding their authority to private class action trial lawyers." They go on to say: "the proposal, which is currently under consideration in federal court in Cleveland, should be rejected outright or fundamentally revised."

Jepsen and Rowthorn believe that the biggest impediment to comprehensive settlements with manufacturers and distributors in the opioid industry has been the private lawsuits -- some 1700 and counting -- filed on behalf of local governments. Jepsen and Rowthorn argue that state attorneys general have the authority and experience to deliver global resolutions bringing meaningful financial and conduct remedies. Click here to read the op-ed.

Shipman & Goodwin's State Attorneys General practice represents corporate clients in the full range of investigations and enforcement actions brought by state attorneys general throughout the country. While in their capacity as state officials, Mr. Jepsen and Mr. Rowthorn led a number of high-profile national Attorney General investigations, litigation matters and settlements.

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