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New York Jury Holds Teva Liable In Opioid Crisis

A New York jury ruled that Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and its affiliates were liable for the public nuisance charges made by New York state in its opioid trial in Suffolk County State Supreme Court.

The jury has found an opioid manufacturer responsible for the death and destruction they inflicted on the American people, the New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

A subsequent trial will now be held to determine how much Teva and others will be required to pay, which will be added to the up to $1.5 billion Attorney General James has already negotiated for the state of New York from different opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Meanwhile, Teva said it strongly disagreed with the outcome and will prepare for a swift appeal as well as continue to pursue a mistrial.

Last month, a court in California issued a decision finding that Teva did not cause a public nuisance in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Santa Clara County and the City of Oakland and that Teva did not make any false or misleading statements in connection with marketing prescription opioids in California.

Additionally, last month the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned an earlier judgment against a pharmaceutical manufacturer and ruled that the public nuisance law in Oklahoma does not extend to the manufacturing, marketing and selling of prescription opioids.

In March 2019, the New York Attorney General James filed the lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic. In addition to Teva, the manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates; Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.

The opioid crisis is said to be the reason behind many deaths in the U.S due to overdose since the year 1999. Major drug distributors have been blamed for lax controls, which allowed the flow of large amounts of addictive painkillers to reach illegal channels thus leading to many deaths by drug overdose.

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