NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement at the commencement of the trial against multiple opioid manufacturers and distributors in Suffolk County State Supreme Court:
“The eyes of the world are on New York today as we prepare to lay bare the callous and deadly pattern of misconduct these companies perpetrated as they dealt dangerous and addictive opioids across our state. Thousands of New Yorkers have died and hundreds of thousands more have been ensnared by addiction, leaving a trail of destruction in tragedy through countless families and communities in every corner of New York. For more than two decades, the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on New Yorkers and Americans across the nation, but, today, the dangerous and deadly actions that led us here will no longer be kept quiet. As we fight to put an end to these companies’ unlawful conduct and hold them accountable for the consequences, we recognize no amount of money will ever compensate for the pain and destruction we have collectively experienced, but we hope to push every dollar possible into preventing any future devastation — by investing in prevention, education, and treatment programs. As always, our goal remains getting funds into communities devastated by opioids as quickly as possible.”
In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic. 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 cases against Purdue Pharma (and subsequently the Sackler family), Mallinckrodt, and Rochester Drug Cooperative are all now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) trial team in this enforcement action is being led by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Assistant 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 Attorneys Wil Handley, Stephanie Torre, and Eve Woodin; Paralegal Ketty Dautruche; and Legal Assistant David Payne. Data analytics and presentation support is being provided by Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia and Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury, under the supervision of Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg. Litigation support is being provided by Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny and E-Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella. Trial strategy consultation is being provided by Senior Advisor and Special Counsel M. Umair Khan and Investor Protection Bureau Chief Peter Pope. The OAG’s civil enforcement actions are all conducted under the supervision of First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.