Ohio – A federal judge has approved the appointment of Simmons Hanly Conroy named Shareholder Jayne Conroy as the new co-lead counsel in the National Prescription Opiate Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) against pharmaceutical companies involved in the manufacturing, distributing and dispensing of prescription opioid painkillers on behalf of more than 2,800 American cities, towns and counties devastated by the ongoing opioid epidemic.
U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Poster, of the Northern District of Ohio, issued the order naming Conroy to succeed the position from Paul J. Hanly Jr., who passed away in May.
“I’m honored to carry on the important work Paul started,” said Conroy. “It’s truly his legacy, and we will continue fighting to hold these companies accountable for how they’ve harmed countless individuals and communities.”
Since forming in December 2017, the MDL has made significant progress in the fight against pharmaceutical companies. In October 2019, Conroy served on the lead trial team that helped secure a $260 million settlement deal with the remaining four defendants just hours before opening arguments were set to begin. The deal brought the total recovery to $325 million for two Ohio counties and avoided what would have been the first bellwether trial in the litigation. Then, in November 2020, a proposed global settlement deal in the MDL worth $26 billion, with three opioid distributors and a drug manufacturer was announced.
Conroy joins the other two co-lead attorneys in the federal MDL, Joseph F. Rice of Motley Rice LLC and Paul T. Farrell Jr. of Farrell Law, with support from the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in leading the federal litigation. The case is In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804, Case No. 17-md-02804.