David Di Pietro Discusses Opioid Lawsuits on National TV
David Di Pietro was recently asked to appear on Cavuto: Coast to Coast on the Fox Business Network to discuss lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. In short, these lawsuits allege that both Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family are largely responsible for the opioid crisis in America.
To provide context, Purdue Pharma is the maker and manufacturer of OxyContin and the Sackler family are the owners of this company. Purdue Pharma recently offered between $10-12 billion to settle over 2,000 lawsuits.
David was asked to provide his legal analysis on this case. Specifically, what type of verdicts and settlements plaintiffs should expect and whether or not they have a good case against this large international pharmaceutical corporation.
You can learn more about this news story and watch or read the full interview between Neil Cavuto and David Di Pietro below.
- Video Transcript
“Cavuto: Why would a family controlling a company, essentially give up the company, why not at least roll the dice, go into bankruptcy and see what happens rather than pay up first then go into bankruptcy. It’s confusing for a ‘non-lawyer’ like me. Fortunately, I have a really good health care attorney with us right now, David Di Pietro. What is the legal benefit here if you can steer me through this. It is a very unusual deal isn’t it?
David Di Pietro: It’s sort of like the asbestos cases when the claims are so large and there’s so many that there’s not enough money to go around for all the potential plaintiffs and the states that are filing as well. So, bankruptcy is inevitable. Either Purdue is going into bankruptcy or they’re going into bankruptcy with an agreement with everybody which will give the plaintiffs and states more money and will set up this public trust which allows plaintiffs to submit claims and get paid.
This trust will be managed by a federal bankruptcy judge and trustees. The reason this is good for the sackler family is because they’ve been sued individually in this case. They want to prop up a good deal; if they don’t prop up a good deal, the lawsuits against them may go on and if it’s proven that they knew about it, they could have personal liability in this case.
Cavuto: So, help me with all the other pharmaceutical makers that might be shaking in their boots right now. What are we looking at here?
David Di Pietro: This could be bigger than tobacco. We have Mckesson and Johnson & Johnson involved. These companies are the largest in the world. These are international companies that have the ability to make payments. I believe you’re going to see more and more verdicts as these bellwether cases come forward in front of the judge in the northern district of Ohio where these cases are. I believe you’re going to see verdicts that are in the billions; you’re probably going to see big verdict cases.
Cavuto: A lot of people who are interpreting the Johnson & Johnson settlement in Ohio for a little over $550 million dollars believe that this is a low level figure. It was interpreted that the burden wasn’t as onerous for these guys; that was wrong right?
David Di Pietro: Totally wrong. I think by these drug manufacturers telling doctors and patients that these drugs can be used like everyday painkillers such as advil, they wrongfully addicted so many Americans and other innocent people. These people are now addicted to heroin and other drugs to compensate for their opioid addiction. For the last two decades, this has decomposed so many families in this country. Honestly, there needs to be some corporate responsibility; I think these are righteous cases that these plaintiffs and states are filing.
Cavuto: David thank you very much… There are other expectations that other companies will be caught up in this and the storm has just begun.
Link to the video: