A Win for Opioid Crisis Victims and Welcoming New Faces

November 21, 2023

by M&S Staff

McKinsey & Co.’s $23 Million Settlement: filing moves school districts toward opioid crisis relief

Working with co-counsel from Terrell Hogan Yegelwel Terrell. Henrichsen Law Group PLLC, and Bailey Glasser LLP, Mehri & Skalet brought lawsuits against the consultancy McKinsey & Co. for McKinsey’s role in (using McKinsey’s own words) “turbocharging” opioid sales. Mehri & Skalet and co-counsel have been pioneers in bringing claims in opioid litigation on behalf of public schools, the first lawyers in the country to marshal and develop evidence to prove the causal connections between the opioid crisis (including some children’s exposure to opioids before birth) and deficits in cognitive, social, and emotional development, which schools must address through special education and other services, increasing the cost of a K-12 education.

In September, McKinsey agreed to a $23 million settlement to resolve school district claims nationwide. If finally approved by the federal court, proceeds from the settlement will go into a Public School District Opioid Recovery Trust, from which they will be distributed by an independent trustee, Dr. Andrés Alonso, the former deputy chancellor of the New York City public school system and Chief Executive Officer of the Baltimore City public school system, who will direct the funds to school districts where the money can be expected to have the greatest effect. School Districts nationwide will be eligible to submit grant proposals and to receive grants from the trust.  

Cyrus Mehri, founding partner at Mehri & Skalet, spoke with Ed Week about the progress, “While none of these moneys are more than a speck against the magnitude of the problem, I do think it’s a really important step in the evolution of school districts asserting public nuisance claims to protect themselves from catastrophes like the opioid crisis that frustrate their mission and divert their resources.”

This settlement signifies a notable stride in supporting schools hit hard by the opioid crisis. It demonstrates a commitment to making a tangible and meaningful difference in the lives of impacted communities. 

The Firm is growing! 

Since our last newsletter, M&S has welcomed four new teammates with unique skillsets and invaluable experiences to add to the firm. We are delighted to introduce three impressive new associates: Oluwadamilola AnimashaunAndie Forsee and Jane Kim, along with our accomplished paralegal fellow, Paris Shan. All share a passion for pursuing justice.

“We’re thrilled to welcome new attorneys and new paralegal fellow to our team. Oluwadamilola, Andie, Jane and Paris are committed to supporting our clients, advocating for social justice, and advancing systemic change. Together, we will envision and create the firm we want to be and the world we want to see in the years ahead.” 

– Ellen Eardley, Managing Partner, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC