The state of New Mexico asked a court on Tuesday to hold Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc accountable for fueling the state's opioid problem, giving the final argument in the latest of numerous cases against the pharmacy chain around the country.
A state lawyer told the judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit of New Mexico in Santa Fe that the state's opioid issue was a foregone conclusion as a result of Walgreens' actions. The lawyer accused the corporation of failing to "establish effective controls" to prevent opioid diversion onto the black market, alleging that it delivered questionable prescriptions without appropriate due diligence or paperwork.
The lawyer for Walgreens blamed the opioid issue on excessive prescriptions and smaller, "mom and pop" pharmacies with inadequate safeguards. He claimed that the state had failed to provide any proof that Walgreens provided prescriptions without a "legitimate medical purpose."
The non-jury trial began six weeks ago with accusations against Walmart Inc and Kroger Co, but both firms settled with the state last month. The details of those agreements have not been published, and the corporations have not responded to requests for comment.
According to federal figures, the opioid problem in the United States has resulted in more than 500,000 overdose deaths over the last two decades. More than 3,300 lawsuits, largely brought by local governments, have been filed blaming drugmakers, distributors, and drugstore chains of causing the issue.
Major drugmakers and distributors have agreed to pay tens of billions of dollars to resolve opioid cases, but pharmacies have yet to reach a countrywide agreement.
Two instances involving pharmacies have reached a conclusion. One case, brought by two Ohio counties, resulted in a jury finding last year against Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS Health Corp, as well as a judgement of more than $650 million last month.
The other case, brought by San Francisco against Walgreens, ended in the firm being found guilty by a court in August. The trial's second phase, in which a money judgement will be decided, is planned for next month.
Walgreens and CVS both reached mid-trial settlements with Florida, each for $683 million and $484 million. A week before a scheduled trial, Walmart and CVS settled with West Virginia for $82.5 million and $65 million, respectively. Walgreens will go on trial in West Virginia next June.
A federal court in Northern California is hearing a case filed by Rhode Island cities and towns against consulting firm McKinsey & Company for its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis through deceptive marketing tactics.
Cities in Rhode Island joined their counterparts in Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, and elsewhere in accusing McKinsey of participating in a racketeering conspiracy by advising Purdue Pharma on how to minimize the dangers of Oxycontin while simultaneously selling the prescription Painkiller at the highest possible price.
Communities accuse McKinsey of causing a major public health problem that has resulted in considerable economic harm, such as increased public health-related expenditures, opioid-related crimes, crises, and public safety difficulties.
Cities and communities have incurred and will continue to incur significant costs in responding to the crisis, with expenditures in the tens of millions of dollars by even the most conservative estimates, according to the attorney representing the cities and communities.
The case seeks specific monetary damages to address the crisis' societal consequences, such as those caused by addiction, violence, and crime, as well as child maltreatment, family dysfunction, kids born addicted, unemployment, and overall social misery.
The matter was referred this week to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which is in charge of the multi-district action against McKinsey. McKinsey did not answer in court, but has disputed similar charges and asked for the cases to be dismissed. A spokesman for the company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
McKinsey agreed to pay $573 million to 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in 2021. At the time, the attorney general stated that Rhode Island will receive $2.59 million for treatment, rescue, rehabilitation, and prevention initiatives. This was the first multi-state opioid settlement, resulting in large funds to states to combat the epidemic.
The agreement comes as the state witnessed a record 435 unintentional opioid overdose fatalities last year, prompting officials to scurry for solutions to the epidemic.
McKinsey is accused of knowing about the hazards of opioids and Purdue's previous misbehaviour following the drug company's 2007 guilty plea to mislabel the medicine. The consultant's job was to devise a plan that would keep Purdue inside the parameters of the 5-year corporate integrity agreement it signed with the federal government in 2007 while expanding Oxycontin sales.
According to charges brought in a newly filed product liability complaint, a woman's Parkinson's disease diagnosis was caused by years of handling, mixing, and spraying Paraquat weed killer.
The lady filed the case last week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, seeking damages from Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC for neglecting to warn about the hazards linked with the widely used pesticide.
Imperial Chemical Industries, PLC (ICI), a historical firm of Syngenta, created paraquat in the 1950s, and the weed killer was initially commercialized under the brand name Gramoxone in the 1960s. Syngenta, on the other hand, sold paraquat formulations under a number of names and promoted the weed killer without informing people about the long-term adverse effects of exposure.
Despite the fact that it has been widely used for decades and is already heavily restricted in the United States due to the risk of Paraquat toxicity if even a small amount of the weed killer is ingested, there is now a growing number of Paraquat lawsuits being pursued by former users diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, indicating that studies have found exposure to be linked to a two- to five-fold increased risk among individuals regularly handling, mixing, and spraying Paraquat.
According to the plaintiff's case, she was exposed to Paraquat from roughly 2011 to 2019 when she worked with the pesticide regularly. She states that droplets were breathed, eaten, or fell on her skin during mixing, handling, and spraying.
Plaintiff began suffering neurological problems after persistent and continuous Paraquat exposure, according to the lawsuit, and doctors later diagnosed Plaintiff with Parkinson's disease. Plaintiff developed Parkinson's disease when paraquat entered her circulation and destroyed her nerve system.
The lawsuit will shortly be combined with other Paraquat Parkinson's complaints against Syngenta, which are being heard by a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Illinois as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Given the similar factual and legal issues raised by hundreds of plaintiffs suffering from Parkinson's disease as a result of Paraquat, the judge has established a "bellwether" trial programme in which a group of six representative cases are being prepared to go before juries next year to help the parties gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of their claims and promote potential Paraquat settlement discussions that will avoid the need for each individual case to be remanded for trial.