Professor Plecnik does not just write about changing the law. Through his public service as Lake County Commissioner, Professor Plecnik is working with his colleagues in Lake and Trumbull to set national precedent in federal court to help end the Opioid epidemic. Lake and Trumbull counties are the plaintiffs in a bellwether case to hold Big Pharma responsible for its role in flooding their local communities with pain pills.
On August 17, 2022, Judge Dan Polster of United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio issued the Abatement Order in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, which awards Lake and Trumbull Counties a combined $650.6 million. Walmart, CVS and Walgreens must pay Lake County $306.2 million and Trumbull County $344.4 million over the next 15 years for their role in the Opioid epidemic. In their complaint, the two counties alleged the three national pharmacies “abused their position of special trust and responsibility” as registered dispensers of prescription drugs, and in so doing “fostered a black market for prescription opioids.”
The day of the ruling, CNN reported:
Lake County Commissioner John Plecnik said his county is investing the $306.2 million awarded to them into tackling the impacts of the opioid crisis in their communities.
“I am grateful to the Court for recognizing the Opioid Epidemic as a public health crisis. This decision holds Big Pharma accountable for the great harm and lives lost due to the overselling of Opioids,” Plecnik said “We hope the legal precedent that Lake and Trumbull Counties have won together will set the stage for the rest of the nation and help end the Opioid epidemic.”
Professor Plecnik’s interview with Fox 8 is available here:
You can watch Professor Plecnik’s interview with Fox 8 News here:
Professor Plecnik’s interview with News 5 Cleveland is here:
Professor Plecnik was also interviewed by CBS Chicago, available here.