SJ&G founding member Jack Garvey was recently honored at the 2023 Missouri Lawyers Awards for his role in the In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement, which won first place in the Top Settlements category. The event, which recognized attorneys from Missouri’s largest 2022 cases, was held Feb. 9 at the Missouri Athletic Club St. Louis.
The $458 million settlement with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and opioid distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen was finalized in February 2022 as part of multidistrict litigation in an Ohio federal court, which included litigation originally filed in Missouri, some of which remains pending. The settlement will bring $274.8 million to the state of Missouri, along with an additional $183.2 million for Missouri’s counties and cities, 85 percent of which will be used for opioid-related programs.
Missouri’s portion of the settlement was achieved by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for the state. Garvey was part of the negotiations with the attorney general and federal mediator for allocation of the settlement amounts. He was also instrumental in securing the settlement for Missouri’s counties and cities, as an ongoing Jefferson County Circuit Court case was one of only a few across the U.S. with a pending trial date, which contributed to achieving the settlement.
National Prescription Opiate Litigation plaintiffs alleged that the manufacturers of prescription opioids grossly misrepresented the risks of long-term use of those drugs for individuals suffering from chronic pain, and distributors failed to properly monitor suspicious orders of those prescription drugs — all of which contributed to the current opioid epidemic.
The annual Missouri Lawyers Awards event is held by Missouri Lawyers Media, which tracks verdicts, settlements, judgments and arbitration awards across the state. In addition to recognizing attorneys who made an impact in the previous year, the awards program honors the state’s top plaintiffs, settlements, judgments and defense verdicts. Missouri Lawyers Media is composed of several newspapers, including Missouri Lawyers Weekly and the St. Louis Daily Record, along with its website, molawyersmedia.com, which is updated daily.