Fayette County Board of Education votes to be part of opioid lawsuit

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Opioids, drugs, prescription pain killers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to join other school districts across the nation in a lawsuit to recoup damages from the opioid epidemic, according to FCPS.

The board cited “significant damages…including expenditures of public funds to address the impact of this epidemic on students, teachers, other staff, and the taxpayers of this district.”

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“Over the past two decades, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students whose families have been ravaged by addiction,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. “As champions for children, our school district has adapted to meet the needs of children touched by this scourge, but those efforts have come at a cost.”

The District says it will not spend any money to participate in this litigation, other than the personnel time necessary to gather data necessary to cooperate with the attorneys.

The Board of Education’s resolution in its entirety is below:

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

RE: PARTICIPATION IN OPIOID LITIGATION

WHEREAS the Board of Education of Fayette County is aware that since the 1990s the pharmaceutical industry has manufactured, distributed, and marketed a variety of opioid pain medications for general use in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, resulting in such medication being the most widely distributed drugs in United States history; and

WHEREAS the manufacture, distribution and marketing of these opioid drugs has resulted in catastrophic, widespread consequences for the people of this nation, including addiction, overdoses, developmental disabilities in children, death, and major expenditures of money; and

WHEREAS the Board of Education believes that the school districts of this nation, including this school district, have suffered significant damages as a result of this national opioid epidemic, including expenditures of public funds to address the impact of this epidemic on students, teachers, other staff, and the taxpayers of this district; and

WHEREAS a number of other school districts have filed or will be filing legal claims as part of Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”) and also in the bankruptcy court proceedings of certain defendants named in the claims in the MDL who have filed for bankruptcy protection (“Bankruptcy Litigation”), for the purpose of pretrial proceedings, including potential settlements of claims, and are seeking to become class representatives in the MDL and in the Bankruptcy Litigation in an effort to be part of the proposed negotiations class seeking compensation for the impact of this epidemic on the named school districts.

NOW THEREFORE the Board of Education of Fayette County hereby authorizes the following:

 

  1. That this Board of Education hereby elects to file claims in the MDL and Bankruptcy Litigation, and to join the class action lawsuit settlement class in order to recoup damages inflicted by the opioid epidemic.

 

  1. That this Board of Education appoints the following law firms to represent its interests in the lawsuit:

 

  1. Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym (Chicago, Illinois)
  2. Mehri & Skalet (Washington, D.C.)
  3. Henrichsen Law Group (Washington, D.C.)
  4. Terrell Hogan (Jacksonville, Florida)
  5. Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery (Louisville, Kentucky)

 

  1. That this Board of Education directs the Superintendent of School and the Administrative staff to cooperate with the appointed attorneys to gather the necessary data and take other required actions necessary to assist the law firms in representing the interests of this District.

4. That the District will expend no funds for its participation in this litigation, other than          the personnel time necessary to gather data necessary to participate in the litigation.

 

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.