Posted on November 24, 2021 in: Professional Practice
A federal jury on Tuesday found three of the nation's biggest pharmacy chains, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, liable for helping to fuel the U.S. opioid crisis — a decision that's expected to have legal repercussions as thousands of similar lawsuits move forward in courts across the country.
Jurors concluded that the pharmacies contributed to a so-called public nuisance in Lake and Trumbull counties in Ohio by selling and dispensing huge quantities of prescription pain pills.
Some of those medications initially purchased legally wound up being sold on the black market.
Tuesday's verdict is expected to resonate nationally, as the three chains face thousands of similar lawsuits filed by U.S. communities grappling with the opioid crisis.
A separate legal proceeding will now take place to determine how much the companies will have to pay to help remedy the crisis, with damages likely to run into the billions of dollars.
In a statement, attorneys for the Ohio counties that filed this federal lawsuit described the jury's decision as a "milestone victory" in the effort to hold companies accountable for an addiction crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.