Sunday, July 22, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 7/23/18
Attorneys with Edelson PC, a Chicago-based law firm, recently filed yet another mass action lawsuit against at least 20 pharmaceutical companies and a group of three doctors who owned a now-defunct pain clinic. This time, Broadview and Maywood are among the plaintiffs.
During an interview last month, Ari Scharg, a partner at Edelson PC, said that the doctors, most notably Dr. Joseph Giacchino, operated the clinic as “one of the biggest pill mills in the country.” The clinic was located in Melrose Park before the doctors moved the business to North Riverside.
On May 23, Edelson filed an eight-count lawsuit in state court on behalf of 11 Illinois municipalities, including Melrose Park and Bellwood, against the defendants. That lawsuit seeks monetary damages as a result of a “civil conspiracy” on the part of the doctors and drug firms comprising deceptive marketing, fraud and negligence, among other claims.
On July 19, Edelson filed a similar lawsuit against the same defendants, but that included 13 additional plaintiffs — Broadview and Maywood among them.
The village boards in both of those towns had voted unanimously to retain Edelson in May, shortly after the firm filed the first lawsuit. Maywood’s decision to retain Edelson has already been reported.
During an interview on July 20, Scharg said that filing multiple lawsuits against the same defendants was largely a procedural tactic meant to accommodate the many municipalities that are agreeing to join as plaintiffs at different times.
He said that a third lawsuit, which is similar to the ones filed in May and July, will be filed on behalf of even more plaintiffs in the coming weeks. Scharg said that he suspects the cases will be consolidated into a single case eventually.
As part of their retention agreements, the villages will not be required to pay Edelson attorneys’ fees or costs related to the lawsuit unless the defendants settle or obtain a favorable judgement.
If the defendants settle or receive a favorable judgement, Edelson would recover fees ranging from 23 percent to 32 percent, depending on when the case is resolved. Scharg said that he did not know when a resolution will be reached.
So far, the plaintiffs in the two cases include (in alphabetical order): Bellwood, Broadview, Berkeley, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Dolton, Harvey, Hillside, Hoffman Estates, Maywood, Melrose Park, Merrionette Park, Northlake, North Riverside, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Orland Park Fire Protection District, Pekin, Peoria, Posen, River Forest, River Grove, Stone Park and Tinley Park. VFP
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