The Core Legal Strategy Against Opioid Companies May Be Faltering

The New York Times (NYT) (11/11/2021)
  • Judges in Orange County (California) and Oklahoma recently ruled that public nuisance laws couldn’t be used to target opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Public nuisance laws which “bar actions that interfere with rights commonly enjoyed by the public” have been used in over 3,000 lawsuits against opioid manufactures.
  • The lawsuits claim that manufacturers created a public nuisance (eg societal costs of addiction) by overplaying the benefits while downplaying the risk.
  • These recent rulings could undermine efforts to hold Big Pharma accountable.