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April 24, 2020

6th Circuit Strikes Dispensing Claims from Ohio Opioid MDL; District Court Judge Orders Parties to Settle on a Test Case

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Ohio issued orders last week in the multidistrict prescription opiate litigation. On April 15, the 6th Circuit ruled that claims related to pharmacies based on their role as prescription opioid dispensers would need to be struck as untimely. The 6th Circuit focused much of its analysis on the fact that Plaintiffs had expressly chosen not to file any dispensation-related allegations, then reversed course and filed an amended complaint to add those claims 19 months after the District Court's deadline.  On April 16, the District Court ordered the parties to select a new bellwether case relating to pharmacy dispensing, informing the parties know that he would select a case if the parties could not come to an agreement. As a result, an additional case track will be initiated to address retail dispensing allegations.