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KY Attorney General Taps Legal Dream Team to Lead Opioid Litigation

The Kentucky Attorney General's office has selected Morgan & Morgan as part of a legal Dream Team to lead litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, dispensers and other groups who allegedly caused or contributed to the opioid crisis in Kentucky.

Morgan & Morgan's proposal was chosen in an RFP process which called for previous litigation experience against McKesson Corp., the largest prescription drug distributor in the U.S. The firm currently represents 15 counties and cities in West Virginia against McKesson and other pharmaceutical wholesalers.

The litigation team chosen by Attorney General Beshear's office includes members of Morgan & Morgan's Government Action Group. Established in 2016, this group provides counsel to government entities in affirmative litigation and investigations. James Young, former Special Counsel to the Florida Attorney General, and Greg Stumbo, former Kentucky Attorney General, lead the Government Action Group.

Dream team of law firms

Joining Morgan & Morgan are attorneys from partnering firms Motley Rice, Lanier Law Firm, and Lexington-based Ransdell, Roach & Royse. This group includes former Washington, D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer, former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John Roach, and one of the most successful trial attorneys in America, Mark Lanier.

"Along with our dream team of co-counsel and Attorney General Beshear's staff, we will work tirelessly to identify and hold accountable those companies and individuals who helped create this horrific situation with opioids. Rest assured, there will be a reckoning," said Attorney James Young.

Attorney Greg Stumbo, former Attorney General and Speaker of Kentucky's House of Representatives, is also proud to fight on behalf of the Commonwealth.

"We're grateful to Attorney General Beshear for giving our team the chance to help even the score with the opioid distributors and manufacturers in a court of law," he said. "We cannot bring back the lives lost nor undo the heartbreak suffered by Kentucky families, but we can bring a measure of justice by exposing those who helped perpetrate this crisis."

Morgan & Morgan was selected to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in part for their previous litigation experience against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Last year, the firm filed a lawsuit against McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. on behalf of McDowell County, West Virginia—the first lawsuit in the state against the three largest drug distributors. The county's overdose rate is three times higher than the state of West Virginia, which suffers the most opioid overdoses in the country.

Attorneys Intend to Take Cases to Trial

The team will primarily operate from its Lexington office, where firm founder John Morgan grew up.

"The people of Kentucky need justice to be served for this horrible epidemic, and that's what Morgan & Morgan is all about," said John Morgan. "We've tried more cases than any other firm, and our attorneys aren't afraid to stand up to these pharmaceutical companies in front of a jury. They picked a fight with David, but Goliath just showed up."

"As a former Special Counsel to the Attorney General who worked on the frontlines of pharmaceutical litigation for Florida, I know how challenging it can be to stare down multi-billion dollar companies with legions of lawyers and unlimited resources," said Attorney Young. "The beauty of Morgan & Morgan's government practice group is that we level the playing field for Attorney General offices. We have the talent, experience and financial backing to stand toe to toe with these companies without blinking an eye."

Morgan & Morgan has five offices and 22 attorneys in Kentucky alone. Nationwide, the firm has more than 350 attorneys and a support staff of 2,000 across 40 offices.

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