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.”
“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:
- 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.
- That this Board of Education appoints the following law firms to represent its interests in the lawsuit:
- Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym (Chicago, Illinois)
- Mehri & Skalet (Washington, D.C.)
- Henrichsen Law Group (Washington, D.C.)
- Terrell Hogan (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery (Louisville, Kentucky)
- 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.