MDL Judge Orders Opioid Litigation Plan and Bashes DEA for Not Divulging Key Information

Thursday, May 31, 2018
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On April 11, 2018, the Ohio federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over the opioid crisis ordered a series of bellweather trials for 2019. U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster also slammed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for resisting disclosure of data about opioid transactions.

Judges overseeing multidistrict litigation (MDL) often use bellwether trials to try a widely contested issue. This helps to establish the boundaries of liability as well as to give juries a view of the evidence and determine damages.

The Orders.

The first order laid out a specific time line for an active litigation phase that is intended to resolve  legal issues and facilitate settlement of the massive case before jurors. He created schedules for amended complaints and motions to dismiss in other cases brought by local governments in Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan and Florida. Click here to read the first order.

The second order directed the DEA to give the plaintiffs voluminous information about opioid sales and suspicious orders from 2006 to 2014 in Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, Florida and Alabama. Judge Polster said the information would reveal what, if anything, the DEA kept, intentionally or unintentionally, from the states, counties and cities that have filed the MDL lawsuits.

The DEA has been reluctant to divulge certain information, saying it could jeopardize corporate trade secrets and compromise law enforcement investigations.

Click here to read the second order.

This isn’t the first time the DEA has been under scrutiny for their actions. Click here to read one of my prior blogs to learn more.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with DEA Cases.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm are experienced in handling DEA cases. If you are currently being investigated or facing other adverse action by the DEA contact one of our attorneys by calling (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001. You can also visit our website for more information at


Fisher, Daniel. “Judge Orders Trials In Opioid Suits, DEA Records As 'Step Toward Defeating The Disease'.” Forbes. (April 12, 2018). Web.

Overley, Jeff and Field, Emily. “Opioid MDL Judge Sets Litigation Plan, Bashes DEA.” Law360. (April 11, 2018). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

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