Local Attorneys Swarm Jury Meeting

There was an interesting turn of events at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury – several area attorneys showed up in an effort to convince jurors to hire them instead of out-of-town lawyers, should they decide to become a plaintiff in a class-action suit against drug companies.

It all started when one of the jurors heard a pitch at the Police Jury Association state convention from New Orleans plaintiff attorney John Young, who is suing drug companies for the alleged over-use of prescription painkillers. Young has apparently had some success convincing other police juries around the state to sign on as plaintiffs, hoping to cash in on any settlement.

The juror invited Young to make his pitch to the LPPJ, and he did so at last month’s meeting. There was a resolution on the agenda Tuesday that, had it been adopted, would have made the LPPJ a plaintiff.

Local attorneys got wind of the deal, and came Tuesday night to make their pitch.

Present were Durrett Law & Title’s Andy Durrett and Mike Smith.

From Monroe came veteran attorney Johnny Dollar, who brought in talent from Houston, Mark Correro.

By the time they all finished, it was obvious that the jury realized that a near-feeding frenzy was about to be unleashed, and they began to back-pedal. No action was taken on the resolution to hire Young, and it is questionable whether the issue will ever show up on the agenda again.

One area resident, Dick Christian, had this to say: “Somebody, somewhere is writing a scrip. The one that gets that drug in the patients hand is the doctor that writes that scrip. If there’s an inordinate amount of scrips being written in the parish, who’s writing them? Go after that person. This is something I’d like Lincoln Parish not to get involved in.”

He added, “Obesity probably links to a large percentage of the money the state has to spend (on Medicaid). Are you going to go after food manufacturers and the trucks that bring it in? If they can do it against one group, they can do it to another.”

In other business, the jury hired Meyer, Meyer, Lacroix & Hixson to do design for an addition at the exhibition center. Asked how much the contract would be for, Parish Administrator Courtney Hall said the usual fee is about 6% of a project’s cost. The budget for the covered warm-up area at the center is about $850 thousand.

6 Responses to “Local Attorneys Swarm Jury Meeting”

  1. Cowboy Says:

    I don’t cotton to the idea of any Police Jury or local governing body join a class action lawsuit against anyone. The class action lawsuit field is morally suspect and oozing with sliminess on every level. Best to shun it like a bunch of lepers. Lawyers are always promising more than they can deliver just to get the chance to try, and they always end up with most of whatever is won.

    Drug companies develop drugs at tremendous cost. These drugs often help us avoid surgery by allowing doctors to manage chronic conditions. These prescription painkillers were developed to help alleviate pain, but some unscrupulous doctors began overprescribing them to make money. We should go after those unscrupulous doctors and not the drug companies. That’s a task for law enforcement, not lawyers seeking clients for some pie-in-the-sky promised payday. If laws were broken, then criminal consequences should follow, not a sordid jackpot justice affair to enrich a few in the name of “justice.”

    No, far better that the Police Jury pretend this presentation never occurred and let it die.

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