Delaware Loses Bid for High Court Review of Opioid Suit Ruling

By | December 6, 2019

A judge who dismissed Walgreens as a defendant in Delaware’s lawsuit against the drug industry over the opioid crisis has denied the government’s request to certify an appeal to Delaware’s Supreme Court.

Wednesday’s ruling follows the judge’s denial in September of the state’s request for reargument on her dismissal ruling.

State officials have accused the pharmaceutical industry of misleading doctors and consumers about addiction and other risks from prescription painkillers. Defendants in the lawsuit include manufacturers Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharmaceuticals, and distributors Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation.

In suing Walgreens, the state submitted an affidavit as required for medical malpractice claims.

The judge noted that such affidavits must state a specific injury to a specific individual, which the state did not do. She said that an alleged injury to the state itself was a new cause of action with no precedent.

The judge said an interlocutory review by the Supreme Court would not substantially reduce further litigation. She noted that the state also has filed a separate motion challenging her ruling that it can proceed against Walgreen’s only through a health care negligence claim.

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