The bellwether trial to determine abatement remedies – essentially how much the defendants have to pay for remedies to address the epidemic – is underway in Cleveland. Our firm’s Frank Gallucci has been on the team representing Lake and Trumbull in the case and was recently quoted by Law360 in a piece discussing the trial. See an excerpt from the article below, or feel free to view it in its entirety here.
America’s biggest pharmacy chains are poised for a pivotal trial at the center of multidistrict opioid litigation and the opioid crisis itself, aiming to avert a giant judgment and an enormous expansion of their broader liability in thousands of cases that are suddenly threatening to spiral out of control.
CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Walmart, reeling from a jury’s conclusion that they contributed to rampant drug abuse in two Ohio counties, will seek to stem their losses at a bench trial starting Tuesday to determine damages in connection with the November verdict.
Here, Law360 shares key details to know about the trial, as well as a surprising MDL development that could make 3,000 pending opioid cases even harder for the companies to handle.
The trial in Cleveland federal court involves bellwether cases brought by the northeastern Ohio counties of Lake and Trumbull; both counties have opioid death rates well above the national average, and even above the average in Ohio, which has seen more per capita fatalities involving narcotics than almost any other state.
“As you can see from the deaths, from those suffering with opioid use disorder, from the impact on the schools, the impact across the community … they haven’t had enough ability to address the epidemic,” Frank L. Gallucci III, counsel for Lake and Trumbull, told Law360. “This is the opportunity for the court to realize that and to provide the funding.” Continue reading at Law360.