On Demand

Taking on the Opioid Epidemic: Plaintiff-Side Lawsuits Against Pharmaceutical Manufacturers


Created on February 24, 2017




An increasing number of communities nationwide have taken some of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world to court in response to the "opioid epidemic." These cities, counties, and states assert that pharmaceutical companies have deceptively marketed opioids as non-addictive, and that the communities themselves are victims of the opioid epidemic.

Suffolk County, New York is just one of these communities, and filed its action against pharmaceutical manufacturers in September of 2016. This course breaks down the Suffolk County case as an example of this kind of lawsuit, explaining in detail how this epidemic began, how communities like Suffolk have been and continue to be harmed, and the legal theories of liability underlying these claims.

Presented by Paul Hanly, Chairman of Simmons Hanly Conroy's complex litigation group, this course reviews the history of legal battles involving opioid marketing, then explores the current era of opioid marketing litigation in which communities have taken to the legal front lines in battling the "opioid epidemic."

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the history of the current opioid epidemic and lawsuits against manufacturers

  2. Articulate the laws regulating pharmaceutical marketing, and how these can be used to file claims for deceptive and fraudulent advertising

  3. Identify legal strategies that can be leveraged against pharmaceutical companies by the municipalities that are most impacted 

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