For years, Skinner Accident & Injury Lawyers has represented various counties and municipalities in West Virginia as the state has taken on those companies responsible for worsening the opioid epidemic in the Mountain State. After countless hours of work, the cases are finally resolving. In May, for example, the state settled with the grocery store/pharmacy chain Kroger for $68 million, bringing the promised settlement money to over $1 billion. Now, the state will move forward with deciding how this money will be disbursed.
In March, the West Virginia State Legislature passed a law establishing the West Virginia First Foundation, which is a group of eleven members tasked with deciding how the settlement money will be spent. Five members will be appointed by Governor Jim Justice, and six members have already been elected by the counties to represent six different regions of the state. Berkeley County Community Corrections Director Timothy Czaja was elected to represent the region that includes the Eastern Panhandle. Stephen worked tirelessly to help negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding that lays out how the foundation will work and is pleased that the people of West Virginia who have suffered because of opioids will at long last have funds at their disposal to help remedy the situation.
Dr. Matt Christiansen, one of the newly elected members of the Foundation, was quoted as saying, “Addiction has affected everybody across the political spectrum, from old to young, and rich to poor. It does not discriminate. And these dollars are an incredible opportunity for us as a state, to right the wrongs that have happened here in West Virginia.”