Oklahoma Supreme Court rejects immediate delivery of Opioid investigation and sets the date of hearing

The Supreme Court in Oklahoma has rejected a request from drug makers to immediately postpone the launch of what is expected to be the first state prescription in lawsuits accusing companies of fueling an opioid epidemic.

Instead, the court instituted a hearing on March 20 about whether or not to allow a 100-day extension of the civil lawsuit that would begin on May 28 in Cleveland County. A judge there had previously rejected the request.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter sued 13 opioid manufacturers in 2017 for fraudulent marketing campaigns that led to thousands of addiction addictions and deaths. Several states have filed similar lawsuits, but Oklahoma is expected to be the first to appear in court.

In a statement, Hunter said that the ruling, pronounced by Chief Justice Noma Gurich, "has kept our case on track." The Attorney General said that state lawyers in the complex case have met court-mandated deadlines, but that "with hundreds of lawyers," the companies have consistently searched for delays.

"Their actions should not be rewarded with more time to comply with court orders," Hunter said. "Every day the trial is delayed, we will lose more Oklahoma & # 39; s overdoses of opioid recipes."

The drug manufacturers said they need more time to analyze more than a million pieces of evidence they received from the Attorney General last month, but state lawyers say the companies' allegations are false and misleading. # 39; to be.

Sandy Coats, a lawyer for one of the drug makers, Purdue Pharma Inc., declined to comment on the ruling.

Purdue Pharma said on Wednesday that it has spent billions of dollars selling the prescribed painkiller OxyContin, but that is considering bankruptcy under legal options, potentially suspending hundreds of lawsuits, including Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's prosecution process includes a court order against the manufacturer's marketing practices and financial damages that Hunter said he hopes will be dedicated to the rehabilitation of opioid-addicted Oklahomans.

State officials have said that since 2009, more residents of Oklahoma have died from opioid-related deaths than from car accidents in the state. The lawsuit states that Oklahoma is one of the leading states in per capita prescription sales for painkillers, with 128 painkillers doses for 100 people in 2012.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Do you want to stay informed?

Receive the latest news about insurance
sent directly to your inbox.