Opioid litigation updates
Opioid Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
Over 1,500 federal court cases have been consolidated into the opiate multi-district litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Cities, counties, tribes, hospitals, and others are suing opioid makers and distributors in the MDL overseen by Judge Dan Aaron Polster. During the MDL’s first hearing in January 2018, Judge Polster said he wanted a settlement within a year. The bellwether cases, Cuyahoga County, Ohio v. Purdue Pharma and Summit County, Ohio v. Purdue Pharma are slated to begin trial on October 21, 2019.
At least 39 states have filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, seeking to hold them responsible for their role in the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. A few notable cases:
In March 2019, Purdue Pharma settled its case with Oklahoma for $270 million. According to the settlement, $102.5 million will go to establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University, with an additional $15 million per year for five years; $20 million will go to addiction treatment and overdose reversal medications; $12.5 million will go to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis.
On May 26, 2019, Teva announced a settlement with Oklahoma for $85 million.
On May 28, 2019, the nation’s first opioid trial began, as Oklahoma lawyers accused Johnson & Johnson of oversupplying its drugs and misrepresenting the safety of opioids.