Trial Victory in Bellwether Federal Opioid Trial

July 2022

Williams & Connolly client Cardinal Health obtained a complete defense verdict after a landmark, 3-month-long opioid trial in West Virginia—one of the most closely-watched litigation matters over the past year. On July 4, 2022, the court issued a nearly 200-page opinion in favor of the distributors, rejecting the plaintiffs’ contention that the distributors’ actions constituted a public nuisance, and affirming that “there is nothing unreasonable about distributing controlled substances to fulfill legally written prescriptions.” Specifically, the court agreed that the distributors substantially complied with their duties to report suspicious opioid orders, and held that plaintiffs failed to prove that the distributors did not maintain effective controls against diversion. The opinion in this matter is the first from a federal court and has received extensive news coverage since its issuance.  

The trial team included Enu Mainigi, Jennifer Wicht, Lane Heard, Ashley Hardin, Suzanne Salgado, Isia Jasiewicz, Joseph Bushur, Will Hawkins, Josh Tully, Steven Pyser, Neelum Wadhwani, Carl Metz, and Danielle Sochaczevski; alumni Mindy Johnson and Brad Masters; and paralegals Rahel Bahibla, Sally Evans and Liz Murphy.  

Click here to read media coverage by Reuters; here for The Wall Street Journal; and here for Law360.

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