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

(396 reviews)

Produced on February 24, 2017

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$ 89 Personal Injury and Negligence, Litigation, and Life Sciences In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

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 

Credit Information

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Paul J. Hanly Jr.

Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC

As a named shareholder of Simmons Hanly Conroy, Mr. Hanly is an experienced trial lawyer and litigator who has litigated, managed and tried numerous complex jury cases throughout the United States in virtually all areas of civil litigation for more than 30 years. He is renowned for his exhaustive trial preparation, imaginative trial strategies, nearly photographic memory of the contents of documents and tightly controlled and disarmingly-effective cross-examinations.

For the first 20 years of his career, Mr. Hanly was a national trial counsel and coordinating and settlement counsel to the world’s largest, vertically-integrated asbestos company in its asbestos products liability cases; in that capacity he oversaw more than 100 local law firms and handled hundreds of thousands of cases.

In the last decade, Mr. Hanly has represented plaintiffs exclusively in a variety of mass tort and other complex civil cases and played a leading role in the settlement of thousands of pharmaceutical cases, resulting in recoveries for the firm’s clients in excess of $300 million. Between 2008 and 2010, Mr. Hanly was lead counsel to a small, publicly-traded company in its antitrust suit against an industry giant, resulting in a settlement of $32 million for the company and a $10.5 million contingency fee for counsel.

Between 2010 and 2013, Mr. Hanly spent substantial time on two high-profile cases: the first, Chambers v. Merrill Lynch, was a class action on behalf of Merrill financial advisors claiming lost deferred compensation benefits, resulting in a $20 million dollar settlement and a separate payment by the defendants of more than $5 million in attorneys’ fees; the second, Jean-Charles v. Perlitz, was a set of consolidated actions on behalf of 24 indigent Haitian boys, who were sexually abused by a now-convicted pedophile, against the Society of Jesus, Fairfield University and others for negligent supervision of the pedophile, resulting in a $12 million settlement.


James K.

An example of lawyers doing social justice

Glen B.

Great presentation!

Jane S.

Love the John Oliver reference.

Catherine M.

Excellent and very eye opening CLE!

Jane F.

Excellent slides. Good program.

Diane H.

Really enjoyed the presentation (loved the video clip). I learned something new. Pseudo addiction was so clever.

Elisa A.

Very current and pertinent topic, even just from the viewpoint of observing an epidemic sweeping the country. Interesting topic.

Chris K.

A good summary of what opioid addiction and litigation is all about.

Belinda B.

Interesting and informative about important issue

Elizabeth E.

I appreciated the video clip. Sometime humor is an effective tool!

Caroline P.

Very interesting and educational! Would like to have more presentations like this to chose from. Thank you,

Eleanor G.

Loved the John Oliver clip!

Stacy A.

This was an especially interesting and well-done presentation.

Paul E.

I love this guy.

Judith Brodsky E.

Extremely enjoyable

David G.


Jules A.

Loved the John Oliver clip.

Bill H.

very interesting presentation

Rebekah D.

Thank you.

Michael R.

Great presentations by Paul Hanly Jr. and by John Oliver!

Ann G.

the embedded video clip was helpful

Julie A. B.

Outstanding discussion of the opioid epidemic along with the laws regulating pharmaceutical marketing. The speaker correspondingly supplies a strategic legal blueprint for filing claims against pharmaceutical companies for deceptive and fraudulent advertising. Hanley’s prose is clear, precise and unobtrusively elegant. He imaginatively and cleverly drives home a point by employing an amusing and sobering clip from John Oliver’s "Last Week Tonight" (HBO).

Lynne T.

Thank you for helping me fulfill my CLE requirements!

Jeffery T.

Excellent content and presentation.

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