Judge Overseeing Opioid Lawsuits Takes Unorthodox Approach

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

Ohio Judge Dan A. Polster, who is handling the multi-district opioid litigation proceedings, is taking a very active hand in the management of the proceedings before him, the New York Times reports.  His methods are unorthodox: calling for minimal discovery, rapid settlement (if possible), and real-world solutions to clean up this mess.”  Judge Polster’s distinctive personality has already upset some counsel.

Here are some key quotes from Judge Polster’s statements at the first hearing:

  • People aren’t interested in depositions, and discovery, and trials.  People aren’t interested in figuring out the answer to interesting legal questions like preemption and learned intermediary, or unravelling complicated conspiracy theories.”
  • And in my humble opinion, everyone shares some of the responsibility, and no one has done enough to abate it.  That includes the manufacturers, the distributors, the pharmacies, the doctors, the federal government and state government, local governments, hospitals, third-party payors, and individuals, hospitals, third-party payors, and individuals.  Just about everyone we’ve got on both sides of the equation in this case.”
  • But the resolution I’m talking about is really – what I’m interested in doing is not just moving money around, because this is an ongoing crisis.  What we’ve got to do is dramatically reduce the number of the pills that are out there and make sure that the pills that are out there are being used properly.”

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Bill Escobar
(212) 808-7771

Neil Merkl
(212) 808-7811

Cliff Katz
(212) 808-7609