CVN screenshot of defense attorney James Collie of Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP delivering his closing argument on behalf of Teva. Click here to see video of the full trial.
Santa Ana, CA - A California state court judge on Monday delivered the first trial victory to date for four drug companies over their supposed responsibility for the opioid addiction crisis, and Courtroom View Network subscribers can watch gavel-to-gavel video of the months-long trial.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson rejected claims brought by Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange counties and the city of Oakland seeking $50 billion in damages from Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Endo International PLC and AbbVie Inc.’s Allergan unit.
The counties accused the drug companies of knowingly downplaying the addiction risks associated with opioid-based painkillers, but the drugmakers successfully argued that the medications in question were approved by the FDA and prescribed by licensed physicians.
The plaintiffs argued the drug companies created a “public nuisance” by advertising addictive medications to communities that later saw surges in overdose deaths, but Judge Wilson rejected those arguments, citing the approval by state and federal regulators for doctors to prescribe the drugs.
"There is simply no evidence to show that the rise in prescriptions was not the result of the medically appropriate provision of pain medications to patients in need," Wilson wrote in his tentative order finding in favor of the defendants.
Wilson heard the case without a jury, and the lengthy trial which began in April, took place via the Zoom platform due to Coronavirus restrictions.
CVN recorded the full proceedings gavel-to-gavel, all of which are available with a subscription to CVN’s online trial video library.
The trial in Orange County marked the first defense win for the pharmaceutical industry in an opioid case, and the only other completed trial to-date in state court was also filmed gavel-to-gavel by CVN and is available with a video library subscription.
That trial in Oklahoma in 2019, which also took place without a jury, ended in a $465 million award against Johnson & Johnson.
In addition to those two bench trials, CVN filmed opening statements in the first jury trial involving opioid crisis-related claims. That trial remains ongoing in New York state court, and CVN plans to return to cover the closing arguments later this year.
CVN subscribers get unlimited access to all of these proceedings, along with a wide array of other products liability trials involving everything from other pharmaceutical products like Accutane and Vioxx to talc and asbestos trials, to automotive defect cases and many more.
Get unlimited access to the opening and closing arguments from many of the top plaintiff and defense products liability attorneys in the country, along with minute-by-minute video to critical expert witness testimony. Many trials also include time-synced digital images of the exhibits and demonstratives being show in the courtroom.
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