On Tuesday, Judge Polster disagreed with those who disapproved of the idea of a negotiation class poised for global settlement.
The new MDL structure could include a negotiation class of over 33,000 cities and counties from all across the United States.
While some counsel for the MDL are on board, some defendants and state attorneys general disagree. Polster sided with the negotiation class and claimed that the state and federal cases would sink both the state and federal judiciaries.
39 state attorneys general signed an amicus brief citing problems with the negotiation class such as state sovereignty issues, allocation of funds, excessive appeals and even conflicts of interest where state litigations include some cities and counties.
Polster believes there needs to be a unified vehicle to resolve the MDL claims, and signaled support for the idea of the negotiation class. He asked for those “anti-negotiation class” to argue against the strongest arguments for it. The judge stated he would resolve this issue in the near future.
The new negotiation class could clear the way for future litigation and help settlements within the MDL, therefore streamlining the global settlement process. This could potentially either help defendant’s confidence in clearing the mass of lawsuits out of the way and allow more opportunity or take away opportunity for state opioid litigation settlement.