New York Judge Schedules Opioid Epidemic Trial

The judge is moving ahead with claims against a group of drug manufacturers and distributors, setting a trial date for January.
New York Judge Schedules Opioid Epidemic Trial

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A New York judge on Wednesday scheduled what could be the second state-level trial in the U.S. on the toll of opioids.

Judge Jerry Garguilo set a trial date of Jan. 20 for claims brought by the state attorney general and the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk against a group of drug manufacturers and distributors.

The judge has selected those claims to move ahead while dozens of other cases he is overseeing from local New York governments are on hold.

He is also not hearing claims against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma or members of the Sackler family who own it. They are attempting to settle some 2,700 claims against the company through federal bankruptcy court. States have agreed to put their suits against the company and family members on hold for now.

Other companies have also been trying to reach a settlement of more than 2,000 cases across the U.S. A proposed framework under consideration with the drugmakers Teva and Johnson & Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson could be worth up to $48 billion in cash and treatment drugs nationally over time. But the plan has a ways to go before it’s accepted by states and other parties.

All the companies in the national settlement talks are among the defendants in the New York case.

An Oklahoma judge this year ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million in the nation’s first opioid liability trial. Other defendants settled before that trial.

The first federal trial had been scheduled to start in October but was stopped when most of the defendants reached settlements with the two Ohio counties who brought the claims.

A federal judge has suggested moving ahead with four different federal trials around the U.S., but the next cases have not been finalized.

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