Attorney General James Concludes New York’s Opioid Trial

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA is Last Remaining NYS Defendant in Trial

AG James Has Already Negotiated Up to $1.7 Billion for New York From Different Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after New York state concluded its opioid trial in Suffolk County State Supreme Court against the final remaining New York state defendant not currently in bankruptcy — Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates:

“Today marks an important milestone as we conclude the trial against the last remaining defendant in our opioids trial — Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.

 “More than two years ago, I made a promise that we would hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for the deaths and the suffering caused by an epidemic that they helped fuel. And, one-by-one, we have done just that.

“We have already secured up to $1.7 billion from the various defendants we initially sued, and that figure may grow.

“While no amount of money will ever compensate for the human suffering, the addiction, or the lives lost due to opioid abuse, this money will be essential in helping every corner of the state — from the North Country to Western New York, from the Southern Tier to Long Island, and up and down the Hudson — recover from this epidemic.

“Today, I am left thinking about all those families that will never be whole again. For everyone who lost their life. For every parent who will never hold their child again. For every community that’s been devastated. But, today, we turn the tide.

“I am also eternally grateful to our trial team and every other member of the office that put time into this vitally important case."

In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic. The manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; 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 were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. 

Last week, an agreement with Allergan was reached that will deliver up to $200 million to New York state and Nassau and Suffolk counties for opioid abatement, as well as make enforceable a bar that stops Allergan and all of its subsidiaries, predecessors, and successors from selling opioids in New York and acknowledges Allergan’s prior exit from the opioid business.

In September, an agreement with Endo was reached that has already delivered $50 million to New York state and Nassau and Suffolk counties to combat the opioid crisis.

Also, in September, the bankruptcy court in Purdue confirmed a $4.5 billion plan — at least $200 million of which will be earmarked for New York — from the Sackler family and foundations that they control, will end the Sacklers’ ability to manufacture opioids ever again, and will shut down Purdue Pharma.

In July, a settlement with McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen that will deliver up to $1 billion to New York state to combat the opioid epidemic was announced.

In June, a settlement that ended Johnson & Johnson’s sale of opioids nationwide and that will deliver $230 million to New York alone was announced.

The deals with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen have a global value of approximately $26 billion.

The cases against Mallinckrodt and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Pursuant to the new law establishing the opioid settlement fund, all funds collected by the state from opioid settlements or litigation victories will be allocated specifically for abatement efforts in communities devastated by the opioid epidemic and will not go towards the state’s general fund.

Separately, but related to her work on opioids, this past February, Attorney General James co-led a coalition of nearly every attorney general in the nation in delivering more than $573 million — more than $32 million of which was earmarked for New York state — toward opioid treatment and abatement in an agreement and consent judgment with McKinsey & Company.

The trial team was led by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Special Counsel Monica Hanna. Their work, as well as the work on the settlements, were supported by Senior Advisor and Special Counsel M. Umair Khan; Assistant Attorneys General Conor Duffy, Carol Hunt, Diane Johnston, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Noah Popp, Larry Reina, Michael Reisman, Lois Saldana, Jennifer Simcovitch, Louis Testa, and Eve Woodin; Project Attorneys Wil Handley and Stephanie Torre; Paralegals Ketty Dautruche and Christine Reynolds; Legal Assistant David Payne; Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg; Data Scientists Gautam Sisodia and Chansoo Song; Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury; Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny; E-Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella; former Special Counsels Mandy DeRoche and Elizabeth Chesler; former Health Care Bureau Chief Lisa Landau; former Investment Protection Bureau Chief Peter Pope; and former Counsel for Opioids and Impact Litigation David Nachman. The trial and all of the settlements were all under the supervision of First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.