In a recent article published by Corporate Counsel, Simmons Hanly Conroy partner Paul Hanly Jr. was profiled as part of the growing wave of plaintiffs lawyers who are holding major pharmaceutical companies accountable through litigation involving the current opioid epidemic.
In October 2015, the firm was retained by Suffolk County in New York and became the first plaintiff firm in the state to team up with a local or state government to sue drug manufacturers for their alleged role in perpetuating the country’s prescription opioid addiction epidemic.
In recent months, the country has seen a sharp uptick in these types of attorney-client partnerships. Firms have filed lawsuits in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Chicago, and two counties in California. As the article mentions, Simmons Hanly Conroy has already filed four such cases in New York state courts on behalf of Erie, Broome, Suffolk, and Orange counties.
Hanly plans to bring suits for several more New York counties soon.
“Drug companies have manufactured, promoted, and marketed opioids while omitting critical information that has long been known about the drugs’ addictive qualities and other risks associated with their prolonged use. The consequent burdens placed on counties and their residents is staggering,” Hanly said. “Those who have suffered at the hands of these companies deserve justice and we will continue to fight for it on their behalf.”
In the article, Hanly said he predicts that he will have sued pharmaceutical companies in more than half of New York’s 62 counties by the end of the year.
Both Hanly and fellow Simmons Hanly Conroy partner Jayne Conroy have held court-appointed leadership roles of national scope in litigation against pharmaceutical companies brought by consumers harmed by dangerous drugs. In 2006, they successfully resolved litigation against Purdue Pharma LLP and Abbot Laboratories, Inc., alleging 5,000 clients’ addictions to the opiate OxyContin was a result of the manufacturers; fraudulent marketing campaign that claimed the drug was not as addictive as other alternative drugs.
View the full article to learn what other insights Hanly offered regarding current opioid litigation.