Trial Date Set In Sullivan Baby Doe Suit

Oct 30, 2019 | Branstetter Stranch & Jennings

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — The Sullivan Baby Doe lawsuit is headed to trial.

At a hearing today in Sullivan County Circuit Court, Chancellor E.G. Moody scheduled a trial date of Monday, May 18, 2020, for the region’s central opioid suit and set the venue in Bristol, Tennessee.

The lawsuit, which was the first of its kind in the nation, was jointly filed on June 13, 2017. Plaintiffs include the district attorneys general of Tennessee’s First, Second and Third Judicial Districts, as well as Baby Doe, by and through his Guardian Ad Litem.

Originally, the suit listed prescription opioid producers Purdue Pharma, L.P.; Purdue Pharma, Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company; Mallinckrodt LLC; and Endo Health Solutions, Inc., as producer defendants. Since then, Purdue Pharma has declared bankruptcy as part of an attempt to settle thousands of suits that followed Baby Doe’s lead. Mallinckrodt and Endo remain active defendants.

“The producer defendants have repeatedly attempted to stop a jury from rendering judgment on their conduct,” says Gerard Stranch, managing partner for Nashville, Tennessee-based law firm Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC. “Four Tennesseans are dying of opioid overdoses every day. While the idea of taking on companies of this size seemed like an impossible task to many, the district attorneys general knew that doing so was the only way to try and reduce the number of deaths and NAS births. Their foresight and tenacity has now led to a trial date being set, and we very much look forward to sharing with the jury the data and details we have discovered about these companies’ destructive business practices.”

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