Opioid Manufacturers And Distributors Denied In Effort To Push Back Opioid Trial

Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors
Denied in Effort to Push Back Opioid Trial

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after multiple opioid manufacturers and distributors were denied in their effort to push back an opioid trial on claims brought by the Office of the New York Attorney General, set to begin on March 20, 2020:

“For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on New Yorkers and Americans across the nation. While the manufacturers and distributors behind this national nightmare continue to try to delay a trial that would expose their illicit misconduct, the courts continue to rule that the American people deserve to know the truth. In just a few weeks, the deadly scheme perpetrated by these companies will be presented in open court and laid bare before the American people, and no one will be able to deny the immoral actions that led us here. We are committed to holding each of these companies responsible for their role in the opioid crisis, and will continue fighting for justice for victims.”

Last March, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most comprehensive lawsuit against multiple manufacturers and distributors. The defendants in the suit included Purdue Pharma, its affiliates, and the Sackler family; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. 

After the trial court denied multiple attempts by defendants to delay the trial, a four-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division, Second Department, issued a unanimous decision, rejecting this latest effort by the defendants to delay the trial. The panel of judges ordered proceedings to begin, on time, on March 20. The defendants — led by pharmaceutical manufacturer Mallinckrodt — previously requested the Appellate Division, Second Department to issue an emergency stay of the trial. Just last week, New York State Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth C. Balkin rejected the defendants’ request for an interim stay.

The March 20 trial date covers the New York Attorney General’s lawsuits against all manufacturers and distributors other than Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. The case against Purdue and the Sacklers is moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.