HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville City Council voted to hire a law firm to represent the city in the multi-million dollar opioid litigation at their meeting on Thursday night.
Huntsville will now enter the litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors and will be represented by the Riley and Jackson law firm on contingency for 25% of any judgment plus their expenses.
City Attorney Trey Riley presented the resolution for Huntsville to enter into a legal service contract regarding the opioid crisis.
Riley said the crisis has had an immense impact on cities and states across America and said Huntsville is no exception. Riley also explained that "to date, the city has not injected itself into these proceedings but the time has come for Huntsville to do so."
City Attorney Trey Riley and Mayor Tommy Battle presented the Riley Jackson law firm to the council members to represent Huntsville. Riley explained that the Riley Jackson law firm has resources and expertise for the subject.
The Riley and Jackson law firm began representing Jefferson County two years ago for the litigation. The firm also represents the City of Mountain Brook and two counties in Florida for the litigation as well.
Rob Riley and Jeremiah Mosely represented the Riley and Jackson law firm at the meeting. They came with the 296-page lawsuit "filled with facts that would shock you" that would be the lawsuit Huntsville would file if the resolution was passed.
Rob Riley explained that this is "an epidemic" and "everyone has been impacted by opioids."
"There are 30,000 cities and counties in America," said Rob Riley. "And 2,000 have entered into this litigation."
Rob Riley also explained that if the states settle the case on behalf of the AG, then money will go to the state, not cities and counties, and Huntsville could be left out. He said if Huntsville files a case then there's no way the city could be left out.
Rob Riley also said he wouldn't be presenting at the meeting if he didn't think money would be distributed to cities and counties. He explained that there is momentum now because cases are being set on a national stage and that there could be a settlement in the near future.
"Twenty-five percent is very reasonable," said Councilman Will Culver. "This is a win-win situation. Huntsville has nothing to lose. If we don't get a dime, we won't have to spend any money."
The resolution passed unanimously.