Benchmark Litigation awarded Williams & Connolly its Impact Case Award for the complete victory secured by our client, Cardinal Health, after a landmark, 3-month-long bellwether opioid trial in West Virginia—one of the most closely-watched litigation matters in recent years. The announcement was made at the publication’s Annual Awards Gala held in New York City. According to Benchmark Litigation, the editorial team selects a limited number of winners for milestone cases that it identifies as the most significant cases of the year.
In July 2022, the West Virginia federal court issued a nearly 200-page opinion in favor of Cardinal Health and the other pharmaceutical 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 trial victory was widely covered by the media, including The Wall Street Journal, Law360, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Williams & Connolly’s trial team included Enu Mainigi, Jennifer Wicht, Lane Heard, Ashley Hardin, Suzanne Salgado, Isia Jasiewicz, Joseph Bushur, Will Hawkins, Steven Pyser, Neelum Wadhwani, Carl Metz, and Danielle Sochaczevski; alumni Mindy Johnson, Josh Tully, and Brad Masters; and paralegals Rahel Bahibla, Sally Evans and Liz Murphy.