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Attorney General Morrisey Issues Statement Following Hearing on Distribution of Money from the W.Va. First Qualified Settlement Fund

October 14th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a statement following a hearing Friday in the Kanawha County Circuit Court regarding the distribution of settlement proceeds from the West Virginia First Qualified Settlement Fund.
“I’m deeply disappointed by the decision to award an egregious amount of attorneys’ fees in the opioid cases, especially after my Office negotiated one of the lowest, if not the lowest, fee rates in the nation.  
We negotiated a fee rate of under 8%, whereas the court awarded the attorneys for the counties and cities a substantially higher number. While I have great respect for the court and the work they did in these cases, the court unfortunately rejected our request for lower attorneys’ fees for the counties and cities.
From the beginning of the opioid cases, I have been a staunch advocate of securing the top settlements in the nation (which we did) while ensuring that as many monies are possible are used to help the victims of this crisis.  
All of this year, beginning on Jan. 13, 2023, when I submitted a proposal to the Common Benefits Administrator on fees, I have pushed for lower fees and sought to spend as much of the settlement money as possible to help the people in need.
I traveled to argue in front of Judge Christopher Wilkes in March of 2023 to press this point, and will always be an advocate for protecting taxpayers’ money.”