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Cuyahoga, Summit counties’ $260 million opioid settlement

November 6, 2019


Lead lawyer for Cuyahoga County Hunter J. Shkolnik, partner at Napoli Shkolnik of New York City, said the funds from the case will be used entirely for treatment. “What’s significant is we have brought to Cuyahoga County and my co-counsel with respect to Summit County money now, significant money now, and also it set a benchmark for what counties should be receiving across the country,” he told the Cleveland Jewish News on Oct. 22 from his office. The only defendant left in the trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 21 is the drugstore chain Walgreens. The new plan is for Walgreens and other pharmacies to go to trial within six months. “They should have settled,” Shkolnik said of Walgreens. “They’re going to find out that was a very bad mistake and I’m sure their fellow pharmacy chains, like CVS and Rite Aid, are very unhappy because they’re back in the courtroom here in Cuyahoga County with the bullseye on their backs.” Shkolnik said he is paid on contingency in this case. “This is a contingency fee case, so we do get percentages,” he said. “That’s the way it works. They don’t have the resources generally speaking, I don’t mean just Cuyahoga County, cities and counties don’t have the resources to bring this type of litigation. It’s not in their usual space of litigation. They have to go outside. The risk to the county to hire outside by hour and pay the costs is too much for any individual county, so firms and the other ones in leadership roles here, we together have put in about 900,000 hours of work – we keep our time so we know. That’s why you’re hearing these billion dollar settlements. It takes an army to take on the pharmaceutical industry the same way it did for lawyers who successfully took on tobacco.”

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