George R. Talarico
April 23, 2018
The opioid litigation landscape continues to
evolve, with over 200 lawsuits currently consolidated in the multidistrict
litigation (MDL), In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL
No. 2804, in the Northern District of Ohio and being overseen by U.S. District
Court Judge Dan Polster. New opioid cases continue to be filed (inside and
outside of the MDL) with no signals of a slowdown.
As the opioid litigation continues to progress, attorneys on
both sides will adjust their strategies to adapt to new information. This point
was apparent at the recently held Responding
to the Opioid Crisis: Litigation, Regulation, & Reform
conference at The Union League of Philadelphia.
conference covered some of the most pressing issues
affecting both defendants and plaintiffs. There were many engaging
talks that provided different perspectives from a variety of stakeholders –
including academia, government (e.g., attorney generals, law enforcement),
advocacy and educations groups (e.g., Physicians for Responsible Opioid
Prescribing (PROP)), trade organizations (e.g., Abuse Deterrent Coalition
(ADC)), opioid manufacturers, defense and plaintiff attorneys, consultants, and
technology firms (e.g., PROVE IT!). While
different views were shared on the genesis and potential solutions to the
opioid epidemic and ongoing legal battles, there was some common ground shared
by all stakeholders. That is, the opioid epidemic is ravishing communities
across the nation and sensible solutions are needed to curtail the current
epidemic and provide safeguards from this happening again in the future.
first day of the event (April 16, 2018), Giovanni Ciavarra, PhD (Innovative
Science Solutions) together with George Talarico, Esq. (Sills Cummis & Gross) presented the Defense
perspective of opioid cases.
Mr. Talarico provided a concise summary of the history of the
opioid litigation and how it has evolved from the first phase in the early
2000s to the current second phase. Mr. Talarico described the types of
plaintiffs and defendants involved in both phases including the theories of
liabilities and associated defenses. Dr. Ciavarra then discussed the huge
volume of new scientific information emerging on various topics related to
opioids, and how tracking this new science can help inform not only potential
new risks but also help develop better defenses. In addition, Dr. Ciavarra
covered the basics of pharmacogenomics and how this type of information could
come into play in future opioid defenses from a metabolism and dependence/addiction
For a complimentary copy of the Talarico/Ciavarra PowerPoint presentation, please contact Amy Davis, Director of Marketing, Sills Cummis & Gross, at (973) 643-4285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.