Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Juul, Opioids, PG&E

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

09/09/2019

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FDA warns Juul for misleading advertising

The FDA sent a warning letter to Juul on Monday threatening fines and/or product seizure for misleadingly marketing its vaping technology — especially in its outreach to youths — as less harmful than cigarettes.

Why it matters: After a spate of respiratory illness reports, the CDC issued a formal warning last month against the broad use of e-cigarettes and recommended that users avoid buying bootlegged vaping products. State attorneys general are also targeting the vaping startup through investigations and lawsuits designed to prevent youths from using the product. read more »

The U.S. judge overseeing nationwide litigation concerning the opioid epidemic on Monday rejected Purdue Pharma LP’s effort to dismiss claims that its activities caused a public nuisance.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland ruled six weeks before the first scheduled federal trial over the epidemic, in a case brought by Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio.

Polster also rejected efforts by Purdue, pharmacies such as Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and drug distributors such as AmerisourceBergen Corp to exclude testimony from a Harvard Medical School economist who believes the two counties suffered as much as $223.4 million of damages from 2006 to 2018. read more »

Generic opioid maker Mallinckrodt agrees to $30 million settlement with Cuyahoga, Summit counties

Generic opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt tentatively agreed to a settlement with Cuyahoga and Summit counties worth $30 million in order to resolve lawsuits that accuse the company of fueling the opioid epidemic.

The agreement the United Kingdom-based company announced Friday is the third reached by the counties ahead of an Oct. 21 trial in federal court in Cleveland. Negotiations between drug manufacturers and distributors have been ongoing for more than a year, though the news of Mallinckrodt’s agreement is another sign that talks have sped up in recent weeks.

Under the settlement, Mallinckrodt agreed to pay $24 million in cash and donate $6 million in medication to both counties, including addiction treatment products, according to a news release from the company. read more »

Purdue Pharma reportedly in talks with DOJ to settle criminal, civil opioid probes

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, is in talks with the Justice Department to resolve criminal and civil probes related to its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The government has subpoenaed former employees as part of federal investigations that began at least as early as 2017, the Journal reported. The investigations have examined the company’s possible failure to report doctors who were illegally prescribing opioids and the company’s order-monitoring systems.

The government has also considered charges under “continuing criminal enterprise” statutes that are typically used to prosecute drug dealer. read more »

PG&E preparing to file bankruptcy exit plan, including $14 billion investment

PG&E preparing to file bankruptcy exit plan, including $14 billion investment

PG&E Corp.’s preferred path out of bankruptcy protection relies partly on a new multibillion-dollar stockholder investment, but it’s still not clear exactly how much money the company wants to offer individual wildfire victims. read more »