Statement by Attorney General James at the start of the trial against various opioid manufacturers and distributors
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement today at the start of the trial against several opioid manufacturers and distributors in the Suffolk County State Supreme Court:
“The eyes of the world are on New York City today as we prepare to lay bare the ruthless and deadly pattern of misconduct these companies have perpetrated as they distribute dangerous and addictive opioids in our state. Thousands of New Yorkers have died and hundreds of thousands more have been trapped by addiction, leaving a trail of destruction in tragedy through countless families and communities across New York City. For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc among New Yorkers and Americans across the country, but today the dangerous and deadly actions that brought us here will no longer be held accountable. silence. As we fight to end the illegal conduct of these companies and hold them accountable for the consequences, we recognize that no amount of money will ever make up for the pain and destruction we have suffered collectively, but we hope to invest every dollar possible in preventing future devastation – by investing in prevention, education and treatment programs. As always, our goal remains to get funds to communities devastated by opioids as quickly as possible. “
In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the country’s largest lawsuit to hold the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic accountable. Defendants in the lawsuit included Purdue Pharma, its subsidiaries and the Sackler family; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries; 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.
Cases against Purdue Pharma (and subsequently the Sackler family), Mallinckrodt, and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now proceeding separately in the U.S. bankruptcy court.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) trial team in this enforcement action is led by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Deputy Attorney General Monica Hanna, and includes: Assistant Attorneys General Connor Duffy, Carol Hunt, Diane Johnston, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Michael Reisman, Lois Saldana and Jennifer Simcovitch; project lawyers Wil Handley, Stephanie Torre and Eve Woodin; Paralegal Ketty Dautruche; and legal assistant David Payne. Data analysis and presentation support is provided by data scientist Gautam Sisodia and data analyst Anushua Choudhury, under the supervision of Director of Research and Analysis Jonathan Werberg. Litigation support is provided by Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny and Electronic Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella. Consultation on the testing strategy is provided by Senior Advisor and Special Advisor Mr. Umair Khan and Head of Investor Protection Bureau Peter Pope. The OAG’s civil enforcement actions are all conducted under the supervision of Senior Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.