Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Wholesalers, and Distributors: Prepare for High Stakes Opioid Litigation

Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a task force to pursue the makers and distributors of prescription opioids and his intention for the Justice Department to play a substantial role in supporting plaintiffs throughout the country in prescription opioids-based lawsuits. In addition to the Justice Department’s vocal support of such legal action, numerous lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, have already been filed throughout the United States in both federal and state courts against various pharmaceutical companies regarding their involvement in the manufacture, production, and distribution of prescription opioids, with more waiting to be filed.

For example, the City of Miami recently sued multiple companies in Florida state court, filing a seven-count complaint which included claims for gross negligence and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Texas, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee have also filed suit against pharmaceutical companies regarding opioids. These lawsuits and corresponding claims can expose all named and potential defendants to significant monetary penalties and fees.

In addition to the numerous lawsuits being filed on behalf of state and local governments, several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of private individuals as well. In the Federal District of New Jersey, a plaintiff filed an eight-count civil complaint which included consumer fraud claims, violations of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and conspiracy. Similar complaints have been filed in other federal district courts including the Southern District of New York, Northern District of Illinois, and the Northern District of California. Among the similarities in the causes of action asserted in these complaints are claims arising under state specific consumer fraud statutes, which often permit plaintiffs to recover treble damages as well as attorneys’ fees.  

With deep insight into the pharmaceutical industry and an understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, Frier Levitt is prepared to provide a robust defense to manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors facing legal claims as a result of the sale of opioids. Our staff of over 30 healthcare attorneys have decades of experience defending civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings and are thoroughly prepared to effectively handle the challenges and demands associated with such high stakes litigation including navigating the demands and challenges associated with discovery in civil litigation.

Contact Frier Levitt today to speak to an attorney regarding the high stakes opioid litigation being conducted throughout the country.