CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The first federal opioid trial will begin in Cleveland, Ohio in the next two weeks and according to local attorneys that case could set a precedent for what the national settlement may look like.
Before that trial gets underway though, an increasing number of West Virginia cities and counties are opting out of the proposed settlement, saying the Mountain State isn’t getting their fair share.
“Our little towns were really hit hard and I call our cities and towns like Kermit ground zero. Under the proposed settlement, they would only get $2,175 for every billion dollars in settlement, as opposed to LA who gets 12 million, or Chicago who gets eight million so we just want to opt-out of that because we think it’s really unfair,” said Truman Chafin, a Mingo County attorney who is representing communities across West Virginia.
Bigger cities in the state like Charleston and Huntington will be holding off on the settlement however, Rusty Webb the plaintiff’s attorney says it’s too soon to be making decisions like that.
“What if Town A opted out today and then tomorrow there is a 100 billion on the table? Aren’t they going to feel silly for opting out instead of getting part of 100 billion?” said Webb.
Cities and towns will need to make a decision by November 22 to opt-out. The currently proposed settlement formula relies on population, the number of overdoses and opioids distributed per person.