Billion-Dollar Opioid Settlements must Offer Aid to New Jersey, Edward Crisonino says
When it comes to launching successful legal efforts, having a precedent to go off will help. The flood of lawsuits in 2019 against Purdue Pharma, which is the company behind the highly-addictive painkiller OxyContin, are now coming from state’s attorney generals across the U.S. Edward Crisonino, a New Jersey-based lawyer and graduate of Brooklyn Law School, is closely following these legal efforts. That’s because opioid abuse, fatal overdoses and allegations that the family behind Purdue Pharma continued to push products — despite warnings about dependency — will be lasting societal issues from our time.
New Jersey was hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic. Thus, recovering funds spent by the state to counter this deluge of lethal drugs would be wise but this could only be done through legal channels. Edward Crisonino, as an experienced lawyer who knows that accumulating evidence before making a claim is crucial, wants to see what other states do first. According to a recent CNN article, the Sackler family is looking to arrange a “multibillion-dollar settlement” to “resolve a crush of lawsuits over the nation’s opioid crisis contains formulas for dividing up the money among state and local governments across the country.” The settlement, which could total between $10 and $12 billion, would be divvyed up between states that need to recoup expenses. For example, the report says local governments in Cabell County, West Virginia would “get a total of $975,000 for every $1 billion in the settlement. Philadelphia would receive $6.5 million.”
Edward Crisonino knows that New Jersey needs a slice of that $10-$12 billion pie – but there are other means to an end. According to an August 2019 article from the Star-Ledger newspaper, New Jersey could go after its own to recover lost funds. New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson was ordered by an Oklahoma judge to pay the state $572 million. New Jersey previously sued a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary for “deceptive marketing to boost profits by playing down the risk of its highly addictive opioid painkillers,” according to the newspaper. That lawsuit remains wrapped up in legal red tape as it makes its way through the courts, but that’s par for the course, according to Edward Crisonino.
New Jersey is among the many U.S. states that bore the brunt of the opioid crisis. To stay on top of the issue, both lawmakers and lawyers like Edward Crisonino need to work in tandem to follow suit when filing lawsuits.