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Trial lawyers and state AGs, so happy together

AG hijinks, reported on by Forbes Sept. 19 ("Muzzling the pit bulls") but slipping between the cracks with us at the time:

In suing drugmakers Schering-Plough, Abbott Laboratories, Pharmacia and others, charging they defrauded state Medicaid, the attorney general of Ohio, James Petro, turned to a hired gun: Stanley Chesley, one of the fiercest plaintiff lawyers in the state.

Chesley agreed to forgo any legal fees from the state for a shot at a huge payoff if he wins the case--up to a 19% cut of any award or settlement. He is a political kingmaker in the state and is close to Petro in particular: Early this year Chesley hosted a fundraiser at his home for Petro, who is running for governor.

Cozy ties between state attorneys general and hungry tort lawyers have grown like hothouse mushrooms...Most of the 20 states pursuing Medicaid fraud cases against Big Pharma have hired contingency-fee lawyers to do it for them.

...Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady says contingency-fee lawyers continually pitch her dubious suits. "I have been solicited many times, mostly related to product liability theories like thimerosal, the mercury in vaccines," Brady says.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.