Highly anticipated opioid trial postponed due to coronavirus

March 11, 2020

A trial that was set to serve as a bellwether case for the thousands of opioid lawsuits around the country has been postponed. 

Several major pharma companies including Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp. and CVS Health Corp. were scheduled to begin the jury trial brought by the state of New York on March 20. But the office of New York’s attorney general announced this week that it is postponing the trial due to the high number of people that are expected to attend. 

So far, most of the major opioid-related lawsuits have been settled out of court. In October, J&J, Teva, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health began floating a $48 billion settlement agreement for all of the cases they’re facing, but have yet to secure a deal. 

Last year, Teva and two drug distributors reached a last-minute $260 million settlement agreement with the state of Ohio to avoid facing a jury.

A new date has not been set for the case involving the state of New York, but there will be a hearing on April 14 that will determine the next steps for the case. 

Read the Reuters report.