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July 2, 2019

Former Conn. Deputy Attorney General Says “Negotiation Class” Idea Likely To Fail

Perry Zinn Rowthorn, a former deputy attorney general from Connecticut, told Legal Newsline that the idea to form a “negotiation class” of more than 24,000 cities and counties in the Ohio-based opioid multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings is unworkable and likely to fail.

The proposal would select certain municipalities to negotiate a deal and then require 75 percent approval from the rest of the class, with a single vote allocated to each municipality and additional votes allocated depending on population and the severity of the problem in that area. This, Rowthorn said, could result a deal being “crammed down on most cities and counties” since the process would be dominated by the larger cities.

A group of state attorneys general wrote a letter to the judge overseeing the MDL, saying the idea “could result in a grave miscarriage of justice and do significant harm to the ability of states to protect their own people.”

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