Judge keeps opioid trial on track

11 Mars, 2019, 10:49 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Judge keeps opioid trial on track

An Oklahoma judge ruled Friday that a historic opioid trial against several major pharmaceutical companies will begin May 28, rejecting their motion to delay the trial.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman's decision was a win for the state, even as one of the lawyers for the state said Purdue had "threatened" to file for bankruptcy rather than face the first trial to result from around 2,000 lawsuits nationally.

But the judge said the drugmakers had not established the state's actions had prejudiced them. This ruling keeps our case on track for the May trial date where our attorneys will present the facts to Oklahomans.

"Time is not on our side", Hunter said.

The drug companies contended they needed more time to review 1.6 million pages of evidence that they didn't receive from the state until February 21.

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He said delaying the trial to September 16 was necessary because the state belatedly turned over 1.6 million pages of records critical to Purdue's defense. The State did not target legislators. Other cases, including Oklahoma's, are pending in state courts. "The defendants did all that". "We remain steadfast in our mission to ending this nightmarish epidemic and the ravages the opioid epidemic has left in its wake in Oklahoma". The other 14 states are investigating whether to bring suits, as well.

"This case needs to get to trial because people are dying every day", Reggie Whitten, the lawyer for the state, said during a hearing in Norman, Oklahoma.

In the past three years, almost 3,000 people have died of overdose deaths in Oklahoma and more than 1,300 newborns have tested positive for exposure to opioids, according to the attorney general's office.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2017.

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