On November 27th, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) filed a class action complaint seeking damages for expenses related to special education, addiction counseling, campus security and employee health insurance inflicted on public schools by the companies that created the opioid epidemic. Attorneys Matt Piers and Emily Brown of HSPRD are among the lead attorneys on the case.
Along with public school districts all over the country, CPS is experiencing unprecedented challenges and costs resulting from the impact of the nationwide opioid epidemic on its students and employees. Studies show that children born to opioid-addicted mothers experience learning and behavioral challenges throughout their lives, and independent public schools like CPS must provide the extra resources needed for their education.
Matt Piers, counsel for the school district, told Law360 the allegations could represent a “whole other major set of claims” in the National Prescription Opiate Multi-District Litigation, currently pending in Cleveland, Ohio.
“We’re probably talking about billions of dollars in the aggregate,” Piers said of potential nationwide damages.
The Chicago school district’s roughly 200-page complaint appears to be one of the most detailed lawsuits to argue that reckless sales of opioids ultimately saddled school systems with staggering financial burdens. HSPRD plans to file complaints on behalf of more independent public school districts in the coming year.