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W.V.: lawyers reap $3.7M from state's Oxycontin settlement

Once again a public/private litigation partnership yields yummy fees: Per the Charleston Gazette, "A Washington, D.C., law firm and a group of West Virginia lawyers will get $3.7 million of the state's $10 million OxyContin settlement under a court-approved deal that has the blessing of the state Attorney General's office. The lawyers will take their money from a fund that will pay for drug-education programs for doctors, law enforcement drug-prevention programs and community drug-rehabilitation programs." Attorney General Darrell McGraw defended the fees, saying they reflected market rates and that the lawyers had been selected on the basis of competence and not, as critics suggested, because many of them had been major contributors to his campaigns. Washington, D.C.-based Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll was the state's lead counsel, and that firm "brought in lawyers from the Charleston law firm DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero, lawyer Bill Druckman's Charleston firm, and the firm of G. David Brumfield of Hurricane." (Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail). West Virginia was unusual in filing a public action against the drug's manufacturer; the great bulk of the OxyContin litigation (covered extensively on Overlawyered) has consisted of private actions.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.