Photo: Gavel

Area residents, leaders to testify on the impact of the opioid crisis

An Update on the Huntington, WV Opioid Litigation

From the Desk of Paul Farrell, Jr.

Today begins a new phase in the opioid lawsuit for Huntington and Cabell County (WV).  We began this journey three years ago with a single lawsuit filed in a West Virginia federal court.  Since then, more than 3,000 local governments joined the litigation as the opioid epidemic exploded across America.  Cleveland was the first case to go to trial, and that case was settled on the courthouse steps.  My community was selected as the second case.

For the past 6 months, we have been engaged in “written discovery” with the defendants exchanging millions of pages of documents.  Today we begin a series of fact witness depositions at the Huntington Civic Center. These will continue throughout the summer.  The purpose of this phase of discovery is to allow the defendants to hear first-hand the impact on public health and the safety of our community.  Defendants have asked to depose our government officials, firefighters, law enforcement, first responders, public health officials, health care providers, and a host of others.

A doubleheader is scheduled on Wednesday with Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader and Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle.  Please keep our witnesses in your thoughts and prayers during this test of our resolve.

Paul Farrell, Jr.