Verdict, judgment in Opioid MDL establishes precedent for other cases
Mark Lanier, co-founder of The Lanier Law Firm, has been honored with an “Impact Case Award” by the prestigious legal guide Benchmark Litigation for his role as lead trial counsel in securing a $650.6 million judgment in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation. That ruling by an Ohio federal court followed a jury trial in which CVS, Walgreens and Walmart were found liable for their roles in failing to control the oversupply and diversion of deadly prescription opioids in two Ohio counties.
That trial, the first in the multidistrict litigation involving pharmacies as opposed to drug manufacturers and distributors, was also the first to be decided by a jury and was the first trial in the MDL to produce a verdict. The jury found that sales of prescription opioids by the pharmacy chains contributed to a “public nuisance,” validating the core legal theory undergirding thousands of similar lawsuits. Much of the evidence and production of documents will affect scores of other lawsuits that are pending in the MDL, as well as similar litigation across the nation.
Each year the Benchmark Litigation editorial team recognizes Impact Cases for their legal ingenuity, high dollar amounts earned for plaintiffs, or for achieving precedent-setting decisions. The awards were announced at the Annual Benchmark Litigation Awards Gala in New York City on March 15.