After AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson inked settlements with New York to resolve their portion of the state's opioid nuisance lawsuit, Teva stood as the lone manufacturer involved in the closing portion of the trial. Now, a jury has found Teva liable.
A jury in Suffolk County State Supreme Court found the company contributed to New York's opioid epidemic. Next, the court will hold another trial to determine how much Teva should pay.
“Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and others misled the American people about the true dangers of opioids, which is why, in 2019, I made a promise that our team would hold them and the other manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic accountable for the suffering that they have caused," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a Thursday statement.
Any payments by Teva will come on top of more than $1.5 billion in settlements already agreed upon in the sprawling case, James added.
The news comes more than two years after James filed suit against AbbVie's Allergan, Purdue Pharma, members of the Sackler Family (Purdue's wealthy owners), Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, Endo Health Solutions and Teva Pharmaceuticals for allegedly fueling a nuisance in New York with their opioid sales strategies. The case also targeted pharma distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, Amerisource Bergen and the Rochester Drug Cooperative.
Most of the defendants chose to settle. In June, Johnson & Johnson reached a deal worth up to $263 million to resolve the charges.
Then, as the trial proceeded earlier this month, AbbVie's Allergan unit inked a $200 million settlement. That left Teva as the lone manufacturer defendant.
Aside from the New York case, Teva and others face thousands of lawsuits from municipalities and states from across the nation for allegedly fueling the addiction and opioid epidemic. Johnson & Johnson and three distributor giants are working to finalize a $26 billion deal with many of the plaintiffs. Meanwhile, a judge recently threw out Purdue's proposed $4.5 billion settlement, ordering the sides back to the negotiating table.
This summer, Teva's CEO Kåre Schultz said he's "optimistic" a nationwide opioid deal could come within a year for his company.
Last month, Teva, Johnson & Johnson, AbbVie and Endo scored a major trial win in California. In that case, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Santa Clara County and the City of Oakland had pursued a whopping $50 billion from the companies.