Cabell County to appeal judge’s ruling in opioid case
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A day after most West Virginia counties and cities learned they will receive $400 million in a settlement against the nation’s three largest opioid distributors, Cabell County -- the one county left out of the settlement -- filed notice to appeal a federal judge’s decision not to award any money to them or the city of Huntington in their suit against the big three.
Cabell County’s and Huntington’s case against Amerisource Bergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health was heard by a federal judge last summer. Earlier this summer, the judge ruled in favor of the big three --not having a major role in the opioid epidemic in Cabell County.
The county’s case was among the first in the nation to be heard by a federal judge, considered a test trial, and they were not included in the lawsuit with the other West Virginia counties and cities.
However, Rusty Webb, an attorney who has the Huntington-Cabell County case and who also works with other cities and counties in the larger settlement, said Huntington and Cabell will be able to apply for money put in a public-private trust fund called “West Virginia First.”
Huntington and Cabell County can apply for funding from the trust which will include 72.5 percent from the $400 million settlement. They just will not be able to receive any of the 24.5 percent that’s guaranteed to cities and counties.
“Huntington and Cabell will still get monies from manufacturers that have been settled and pharmacies that have been settled and future pharmacies that have been settled. However, they won’t get any monies from the $400 million,” Webb said.
It’s not clear when Cabell County’s and Huntington’s case will be heard.
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