The Georgia Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the Hospital Authority of Wayne County, ruling that they don’t have the constitutional basis to challenge a 2022 legislative bill that prevented their litigation against opioid corporations. This decision came in light of Georgia and several other states collectively reaching a whopping $26 billion settlement.
The Settlement Act: Blocking Legal Challenges
Delving deep into the roots of the matter, Georgia’s lawmakers passed the Settlement Act in 2022, which, according to the court’s justices, unambiguously restricts all former, current, and prospective claims against the targeted opioid corporations by any governmental agencies.
This broad sweep means the Hospital Authority of Wayne County, which initiated litigation in 2019 against opioid companies and chose to sideline themselves from the global settlement, is left without legal recourse.
The Battle of Powers: Hospital Authority vs. Legislature
Stepping into the arena with a vigorous defense, the Hospital Authority, a beacon in southeast Georgia, argued that like any private corporation of a similar nature, it and other hospital authorities possess the authority to initiate and face lawsuits.