Jury Selection to Take Place After Being Previously Delayed Due to COVID-19
New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement after, during a pre-trial conference, the Suffolk County State Supreme Court directed jury selection to begin in the trial against multiple opioid manufacturers and distributors in January of 2021, after previously being delayed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis:
“For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on New Yorkers and Americans across the nation. Come next year, the deadly scheme perpetrated by the companies responsible for this national nightmare 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 exposing the illicit conduct that took place and holding each of these companies responsible for their role in the opioid crisis, and will continue fighting for justice for victims.”
Justice Jerry Garguilo directed jury selection to begin in January of 2021 and estimated the trial to begin in February or March of 2021. Earlier this year, the court denied the defendants’ efforts to delay the trial that was originally set to begin on March 20, 2020, but after COVID-19 began to spread rapidly across New York, the court delayed the trial indefinitely for the health and safety of all involved.
Last March, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most comprehensive lawsuit against multiple manufacturers and distributors. The defendants in the suit included Purdue Pharma, its affiliates, and the Sackler family; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.
The upcoming trial will cover Attorney General James’ lawsuits against all manufacturers and distributors other than Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, and Mallinckrodt. The case against these three defendants are moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.