By: Enrique Serna
Share This Post
Landmark Jury Verdict Holds Pharmacies Responsible for Their Role in the U.S. Opioid Crisis
As reported by Law360, in a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal jury has found pharmacy giants CVS, Walgreens and Walmart liable for fueling the opioid addiction crisis in two Ohio counties. After a six-week trial and one week of deliberations, jurors concluded that the sale and distribution of huge amounts of prescription opioids by the pharmacy chains contributed to a “public nuisance” in Lake and Trumbull counties in Ohio. Law360 notes that the landmark verdict could set the tone for thousands of similar lawsuits moving forward nationwide.
“Today’s verdict represents a milestone victory for the Lake County and Trumbull County communities, and the entire country, in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” top plaintiffs lawyers in multidistrict opioid litigation said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
In proceedings expected to occur in spring of 2022, U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster will determine how much the pharmacies must pay in damages, which potentially could amount to over $1 billion per county for addiction treatment and prevention.
The trial has blazed many new trails in opioid litigation. It is the first to involve pharmacies, as opposed to drug makers and distributors, the first to have been decided by a jury, and the first trial in the MDL to yield a verdict.