Commissioners met behind closed doors with attorneys to discuss opioid suit

Grady County commissioners are considering joining in opioid litigation with other cities and counties in the state as well as the nation, and on Tuesday night met behind closed doors with representatives of different law firms interested in representing the county in the suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
The discussions were held in secret on the advice of County Attorney Jennifer Herzog.
During the first closed door session, commissioners and Herzog met with a representative of Blasingame, Burch, Hasty, Pope, LLP and in the second session with representatives of Conley-Griggs-Partin and the Studstill Firm.
The attorneys from the two firms that met with the commissioners in the second closed door session have joined forces and offices in south Georgia while the other firm is primarily a north Georgia firm.
Robb Howell, an attorney who is already representing the county in a collection effort against the consulting engineer and contractors for the Tired Creek Lake mitigation plan, is a member of the Conley-Griggs-Partin firm. He, along with Haynes Studstill of The Studstill Firm, met with commissioners this week.
Attorneys say the need for the litigation is to seek relief from the effects of the opioid abuse crisis that has extracted billions from local communities across the country.
The attorneys claim that manufacturers and distributors created the crisis by manufacturing dangerous and addictive products falsely advertised as “cure for pain” and “non-addictive.”
They also say that false information was provided to doctors with little or no warning of the dangers and risks of the drugs, including addiction.
Commissioners took no action following the two closed sessions.
In related news, Howell also updated the commissioners in closed session on the collection action underway against parties involved with the lake mitigation project.
A closed session to discuss a personnel issue was also held Tuesday night, but no action was taken as a result of the closed sessions.

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