Another of Beshear's opioid suits withstands motion to dismiss


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Another lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear against opioid manufacturers and distributors has survived a motion to dismiss.

Six of his nine suits have now been cleared to proceed in the state court system, after motions to dismiss have been denied.

The latest was in Franklin Circuit Court, where Judge Thomas Wingate denied McKesson Corporation’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against them, which allows the case to proceed.

Beshear said circuit judges in Fayette, Floyd, Madison and McCracken counties denied motions to dismiss by Teva Pharmaceuticals, AmerisourceBergen, Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals respectively.  The first motion to dismiss, by Endo Pharmaceuticals, was also filed in Franklin Circuit Court where it was denied in July.

“These pharmaceutical companies need to stand in Kentucky courtrooms and be held accountable for the devastation they have caused in our communities,” Beshear said.  “Our opioid litigation team has defeated every one of these attempts at dismissal and, ultimately, we will see these corporations pay to help our families recover from this opioid epidemic.”

The lawsuit against McKesson alleges the corporation boasted a 32.7% market share, the largest in the wholesale pharmaceutical distribution industry, for the seven-year time period outlined in Beshear’s complaint.

The Attorney General’s office says from January 2010 through December 2016, McKesson distributed 18,434,834 doses of prescription opioids in Floyd County alone.  Based on Floyd County’s average population of 38,638, that amounts to 477 opioid pills for every man, woman and child living in the county.

The three cases still awaiting rulings on motions to dismiss are:

--Insys Therapeutics, whose motion was heard in Hardin Circuit Court April 12.

--Cardinal Health, whose motion was heard in Jefferson Circuit Court May 23.

--Walgreens, whose motion will be heard in Boone Circuit Court June 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Kentucky leads the nation in the number of individual opioid lawsuits filed by an attorney general. Beshear’s lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies allege they flooded Kentucky communities with dangerous prescription drugs.

Beshear said he will continue to move these cases forward to seek justice for every Kentucky family and community affected by these companies’ actions.


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