New York Opioid trial to move forward on schedule

A four-judge panel has once again denied opioid manufacturers a delay in New York’s trial against them.

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ordered proceedings against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and their affiliates to begin, on time, on March 20. The defendants include manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt LLC, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc, Allergan Finance, LLC, and their affiliates; as well as distributors McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Americsource ZBergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc.

“For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on New Yorkers and Americans across the nation,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “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.”

James filed suit against the opioid manufacturers and distributors in March, falling in line with nearly every other state in the country and hundreds of local municipalities. Previously, the defendants had requested the Appellate Division to grant them an emergency stay in the trial, which was also denied.

In September of last year, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family that owns the company reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with some of the states that had filed suit, until declaring bankruptcy last year. In February, Mallinckrodt announced a $1.6 billion settlement for its role in the opioid crisis. New York was not one of the states that agreed to that settlement.

The trial is set to start on March 20 and will cover the state’s case against all of the defendants except the Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers, which will move through the bankruptcy courts instead.