“We Demand the Truth”

Robbins Geller Partner Aelish Baig and Co-Counsel Deliver Opening Statement in “Bellwether” Federal Opioids Trial

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April 26, 2022

On Monday, April 25, 2022, a “unique” federal court trial began in the City and County of San Francisco’s long-running suit against key drug companies and distributors for their roles in facilitating the city’s opioid crisis, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and co-counsel from other leading firms are working with San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu to prosecute the case.

Aelish Marie Baig, a partner in Robbins Geller’s San Francisco office, and her co-counsel delivered opening statements before U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Charles Breyer. Baig and her colleagues outlined the city’s case against defendants Walgreens, Allergan, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Anda, a distributor owned by Teva.

“We do not seek to ban opioids. We recognize their value,” Baig told the court. “But we demand the truth.”

The City and County of San Francisco filed the case in 2018 alleging that marketers, retailers, and distributors had created a “public nuisance” by misstating the risks of addiction and overdose while marketing opioids. The case also alleged that distributors failed to comply with federal and California state laws that require companies to monitor and stop shipments of suspicious orders of opioids. The defendants allegedly used misleading statements about the risks of opioid use in marketing and did not have adequate monitoring systems to identify suspicious orders of opioids.

The Chronicle noted that the trial is a “bellwether” case for ongoing litigation nationwide involving companies accused of facilitating the opioid crisis. 

The full San Francisco Chronicle article is available here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/amp/San-Francisco-wants-to-hold-the-prescription-drug-17126089.php.

Information on how to watch the live stream of the trial can be found here:  https://www.rgrdlaw.com/f-san-francisco-opioid-case.html.

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 has obtained many of the largest securities, antitrust, and consumer class action recoveries in history. The Firm is ranked #1 on the 2021 ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering nearly $2 billion for investors last year alone – more than triple the amount recovered by any other plaintiffs’ firm. The Firm 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 & County of San Francisco, CA v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 3:18-cv-07591-CRB (N.D. Cal.).

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