How federal court opioid ruling could impact other W.Va. cases


A federal judge ruled Monday in favor of the opioid companies as they defended their companies...
A federal judge ruled Monday in favor of the opioid companies as they defended their companies against Cabell County and Huntington, W.Va.(wvva)
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:37 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - A federal judge ruled Monday in favor of three opioid manufacturers defending their companies against Cabell County and Huntington, W.Va. The two areas were seeking compensation from the companies for shipping millions of addictive pain pills to West Virginia at the height of the state’s opioid epidemic.

The federal Judge David Faber ruled that the distributors -- Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson -- did not cause a public nuisance by shipping millions of addictive pain pills to West Virginia. He added that the plaintiffs also did not prove that the companies’ conduct could be connected to harm suffered by the communities.

The ruling was a direct contrast to several other counties, states, and cities that have had success in court by seeking damages from the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Chris Davis, an attorney representing Raleigh, Summers, and Monroe counties, weighed in on the possible impact of the Cabell-Huntington ruling on the other cases in the state that are still unresolved.

“Although it’s a difficult decision to read, digest, and understand, when it comes to the remaining plaintiffs, it doesn’t preclude a recovery for the remaining plaintiffs that involved from a settlement or even a possible trial,” he said in an interview with WVVA News on Tuesday.

The three distributors also previously settled a 21 billion dollar deal with the vast majority of states. West Virginia was not included in that settlement.

To learn more about the statewide effort to seek damages from the pharmaceutical companies, visit:

Raleigh County Commission approves agreement to receive opioid settlement funds (wvva.com)

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