In a groundbreaking legal victory, the prestigious law firm Baron & Budd has announced a staggering $1.4 billion settlement with retail giant Kroger in connection with their alleged involvement in the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Spearheaded by Russell Budd, President, and Managing Shareholder of Baron & Budd, this historic settlement marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle against opioid abuse.
When combined with previous settlements obtained from various players in the pharmaceutical industry, this agreement elevates the total national settlement value to a remarkable $61.4 billion.
While Kroger is widely recognized as a prominent grocery store chain, it may come as a surprise to many that the company operates more than 2,000 pharmacies across the nation.
These pharmacies, as argued by plaintiffs including states, cities, and counties, have allegedly fallen short of their “corresponding responsibility” obligations under both federal and state law.
This duty mandates that retail pharmacies, like Kroger, must decline opioid prescriptions exhibiting red flags hinting at illicit or non-medical purposes unless these red flags can be reasonably resolved.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs contended that Kroger had failed to adhere to state and federal laws regarding “suspicious orders” within its opioid distribution network.
Corporations engaged in the distribution of opioids through proprietary channels are obligated to meticulously monitor, detect, investigate, and report any suspicious orders relating to these potent drugs.
Russell Budd, the driving force behind this landmark settlement, commented on its significance, stating, “The opioid crisis has damaged and taken so many lives and put an enormous financial burden on families and entire communities. This settlement, along with the others, will help put our country on a path to recovery.”
For over a decade, the United States has grappled with a relentless surge in opioid painkiller prescriptions, largely fueled by corporate interests prioritizing profit over patient safety.
The devastating repercussions have manifested in an epidemic of opioid overdoses, addiction, and associated fatalities.
The supply and dispensing of prescription opioids have served as a primary catalyst for this crisis, with a direct correlation between increased opioid volume and the surge in heroin and fentanyl consumption, leading to catastrophic consequences such as opioid use disorder (OUD), fatal overdoses, opioid-related mortality, soaring hospitalization rates, increased foster care placements, higher instances of child exposure to parental opioid abuse, and a rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) cases.
Baron & Budd Opioid Litigation Team
Over the course of this complex opioid case, Baron & Budd’s devoted legal team has painstakingly represented towns, states, cities, counties, and tribal governments from around the country. The company played a significant role in launching one of the first lawsuits against drug distributors, which led to the formation of the opioid multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Their lawyers were instrumental in bringing pharmacies, distributors, and manufacturers accountable for their participation in the countrywide opioid epidemic by co-leading the first trial brought by an attorney general against a pharmacy.
About Baron & Budd, P.C.
Baron & Budd, P.C. stands as one of the nation’s most prominent and accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms, boasting over four decades of legal expertise. The firm has successfully tackled complex litigation cases across the United States, earning a reputation for consistently remaining at the forefront of legal battles.
Since its establishment in 1977, Baron & Budd has garnered national acclaim for its involvement in groundbreaking litigation, including hundreds of trials to verdict and tens of thousands of settlements.
Their areas of expertise encompass a wide range of critical issues, from handling dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals and defective medical devices to addressing asbestos and mesothelioma cases, wildfires, environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicle issues, federal whistleblower cases, and various consumer fraud matters.
In this era of opioid crisis, where communities have been ravaged by the devastating effects of opioid abuse, Baron & Budd’s relentless pursuit of justice has paved the way for monumental settlements, providing hope for a brighter, healthier future.
The $1.4 billion settlement with Kroger stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment to hold those responsible accountable and provide much-needed relief to the countless individuals and families impacted by this devastating epidemic.