Rochester joins suit against opioid manufacturers

The City of Rochester is joining a class action lawsuit against drug manufacturers for their role in the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The city council approved without comment Monday a motion to retain the law firm of Chicago-based Keller Lenkner to handle litigation against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, along with other drugmakers. Hundreds of cities, counties and states are suing the pharmaceutical companies for pushing the use of opioids despite being aware of the high risks of abuse.

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Tom Kayes
Twin Ports Filing Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

The Duluth and Superior city councils have both unanimously voted to file lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors. 

The two cities will file separate lawsuits but are working together and sharing information and resources. Both will hire an outside law firm, Keller Lenkner out of Chicago, to represent them in the lawsuits. 

Seth Meyer, an attorney with Keller Lenkner, explained that there are two objectives to the lawsuit: monetary damages and injunctive relief, which would aim to prevent opioid manufacturers and distributors from continuing to do the things that led to the opioid epidemic. 

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Tom Kayes
Duluth, Superior take on opioid makers

Duluth and Superior will join in the legal battle against the makers and distributors of opioid drugs.

The city councils for both jurisdictions voted Monday night to hire the same law firm, Keller Lenkner LLC, to represent them in the suit, seeking damages for a wave of addiction that has swept through the nation, saddling cities, counties and states with hefty response costs.

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Tom Kayes
Corporate Arbitration Tactic Backfires as Claims Flood In

Even if the mass arbitration strategy is successful, it may be hard to replicate.

Coordinating dozens, let alone hundreds or thousands, of arbitration proceedings is a daunting task. Law Firm Keller Lenkner LLC is behind the 12,501 Uber drivers filing arbitration claims and the 3,420 drivers filing arbitration claims at Lyft.

Very few people have the expertise and capital to engage in a campaign of mass arbitration filings, a plaintiff’s attorney familiar with these types of campaigns told Bloomberg Law.

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Tom Kayes
Mass. Uber drivers file suit against ride-sharing company over wages, OT

“Uber treats all of its drivers like independent contractors even though they provide the core service, which is transportation,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Travis Lenkner, managing partner of Chicago-based law firm Keller Lenkner LLC. “By doing that, Uber gets to evade minimum wage, overtime, and sick leave laws. Many of the drivers make less than $8 an hour even though in Massachusetts it is $12 an hour.”

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Tom Kayes
Big Pharma accused of driving up health costs with opioid scourge

Travis Lenkner, a lawyer who is representing Green-Kuchta, said his firm, Keller Lenkner, has filed similar class action lawsuits in 15 other states. They represent a new front against the industry because they seek to recover damages paid by private people as opposed to the lawsuits brought by governments on behalf of the taxpayers.

“Most of the litigation that exists right now is brought on behalf of the taxpayers who paid more in taxes because there were public health care and public safety costs associated with the opioid health epidemic,” Lenkner said.

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Tom Kayes