Daily Journal Honors Robbins Geller and the San Francisco Opioids Litigation Team with 2023 CLAY Award

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April 24, 2023

The Daily Journal’s California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year 2023 award recognizes the relentless work of the San Francisco opioids litigation team in holding Walgreens accountable for their role in the opioids scourge that has ravaged San Francisco for more than two decades.

In a landmark verdict that reverberated through pharma boardrooms nationwide, Judge Charles R. Breyer issued a ruling on August 10, 2022 that Walgreens – the only remaining defendant after all others had settled – failed to perform due diligence as required by law and held the pharmacy chain liable for causing a “public nuisance.”

According to Judge Breyer’s opinion, the “aggregate evidence that Plaintiff presented at trial was not only adequate to establish Walgreens’ culpability – it was devastating.”

In addition to a precedent-setting opinion, the other defendants in the trial agreed to combined settlements of nearly $70 million for San Francisco. The San Francisco case was selected as a bellwether in the nationwide opioid multi-district litigation that has resulted in more than $50 billion nationally from multiple major manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies.

“Judge Breyer’s resounding verdict sent a message to companies everywhere that communities have the power, and will, to hold them accountable for their actions,” said Aelish Marie Baig, co-lead trial attorney in the case.

Leading the Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP team along with Aelish Baig were partners Paul J. Geller, Mark Dearman, Thomas E. Egler, and Dory P. Antullis. Co-counsel and co-recipients of the award include our colleagues at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, the San Francisco Attorney’s Office, Renne Public Law Group, and other honorees.

About Robbins Geller

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading complex litigation firms, representing plaintiffs in securities fraud, shareholder derivative, antitrust, corporate takeover, and consumer fraud and privacy cases. With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the world’s largest plaintiffs’ firms, and the Firm’s attorneys have obtained many of the largest securities, antitrust, and consumer class action recoveries in history.

The Firm is ranked #1 on the most recent ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering over $1.75 billion for investors in 2022. This is the third consecutive year in which the Firm topped these rankings. The Firm’s attorneys secured the largest-ever securities fraud class action settlement – $7.2 billion – in In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation.

For media inquiries, please contact media@rgrdlaw.com or call (619) 338-3821.

City & Cnty. of San Francisco v. Purdue Pharma L.P., 620 F. Supp. 3d 936 (N.D. Cal. 2022).

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