New York Sets Trial for Drug Makers’ Role in Opioid Crisis

A judge in New York has officially scheduled what could end up being the second state-level trial against the opioid industry.

According to The Associated Press, Judge Jerry Garguilo set a trial date of Jan. 20, 2020 for the New York opioid hearing. The claims are being brought by the state attorney general and the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk against various opioid manufacturers and distributors.

However, while this case is moving forward, many others are still on hold. The judge is currently not hearing claims against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma or the people who own the company. Instead, those cases will be settled through bankruptcy court, and other claims against the company are halted for now.

Other trials in the U.S. are alleging charges against pharmaceutical drug companies Teva and Johnson & Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. These suits could total up to $48 billion in losses. All the companies currently involved with the national settlement talks are among the defendants in the New York case.

So far in these proceedings, a federal judge has moved to go ahead with four different federal trials around the country. Still, this is only the second case to be finalized so far. The first trial, set in Oklahoma, ended up with Johnson & Johnson on the hook for $572 million. The first federal trial was originally scheduled to start in October; however, it was halted because the defendants reached settlements with the two Ohio counties who brought the claims rather than going to court.

The trials have even implicated the Drug Enforcement Administration in the opioid trials and are going to continue digging until grievances have been resolved.

For many who have been at odds with the opioid industry for so long, these are some of the first major steps to victory.

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