Florida Record

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sixth Circuit judge declines to dismiss Florida AG's lawsuit vs opioid manufacturers


By Charmaine Little | Apr 8, 2019

Florida's attorney general has secured a win in court, as a judge in Pasco County has refused major opioid manufactrers' try to dismiss the AG’s case.

Last week, Circuit Judge Declan Mansfield in Sixth Circuit Court in New Port Ritchey cleared Florida AG Ashley Moody's office to continue with the lawsuit they first filed in May 2018.

In a statement released April 2, Moody said: “Today’s ruling by Judge Mansfield marks another victory in our fight to end the national opioid crisis claiming 17 lives a day in Florida. Our litigation seeks to hold responsible the major corporations that profited off the pain and suffering of Floridians and to ensure it never happens again.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody | Wikipedioa

The manufacturers named in the case include: Purdue Pharma L.P., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., Insys Therapeutics, Inc., and Allergan and related companies; opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation, and Mallinckrodt LLC and related companies; and pharmacies Walgreens Co., CVS Healthcare Corp., and CVS Pharmacy, Inc.

The Florida Record previously reported the news of AG’s lawsuit against the manufacturers after it filed the lawsuit in May 2018. At that time, Florida had suffered 7,725 deaths in 2016, and then-Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in May 2017.

The suit claimed: “Distributor defendants marketed the manufacturer defendants’ opioid products even though the distributor defendants knew about widespread diversion of opioids and that a high number of opioids were already being ordered by their customers in Florida. The defendants’ conduct has injured the state of Florida and its citizens.”

The AG sued for alleged violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, and for allegedly creating a public nuisance, as well as alleged violations of the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).

Florida is one of 39 states with lawsuits pending against the manufacturers and distributors of so-called opioid medications.

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