Dec 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New York jury finds drugmaker Teva liable in opioid epidemic


Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

A jury has ruled against opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, finding them liable for public nuisance charges in connection with their distribution of opioids in New York, State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The verdict, which followed a six-month trial that came after a lawsuit by the state, found the opioid manufacturer had played a role in fueling the opioid crisis. A subsequent trial will determine how much Teva will be required to pay.

  • Teva was the sole defendant left in the lawsuit after the state settled with other drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson and Allergan, earlier this year.
  • James filed the lawsuit in 2019 and was the first of its kind to target the entirety of the opioid supply chain, the New York Times notes.

What they're saying: "This is a significant day for New York state," James said in a statement. "But, more importantly, this is a significant day for every family and community torn apart by opioids."

  • "Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and others misled the American people about the true dangers of opioids," she added.
  • "While no amount of money will ever compensate for the human suffering, the addiction, or the lives lost due to opioid abuse, we will immediately push to move forward with a trial to determine how much Teva and others will pay."
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