(Oct. 20) No matter how often plaintiffs’ attorneys and leftist activists pretend otherwise, it is insanely unfair to blame the opioid epidemic on pharmacists filling otherwise valid prescriptions from licensed physicians.

Unfortunately, U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster keeps turning legal doctrine on its head while clearly favoring plaintiffs in a trial trying to pin the blame on pharmacists for merely doing their jobs. Despite several prior rebukes from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Polster is turning the trial into a fiasco.

In the suit, two Ohio counties (not even the actual opioid “victims,” but the governments) are suing four pharmacy chains for allegedly creating a “public nuisance” by filling prescriptions for painkillers. The theory is that the counties end up spending public resources to deal with the epidemic and that the pharmacies should have refused to fill the prescriptions.

This case has been in the works for several years. Polster has repeatedly abandoned neutrality to show strong favoritism to the plaintiffs. He limited pretrial discovery, arbitrarily narrowed the list of defendants to just four (and arguably the wrong four at that), and threatened the defendants with bankruptcy if they wouldn’t agree to pay tens of millions of dollars in settlements (as part of billions of settlement dollars he wants to catalyze in consolidated cases nationwide). He also barred the media from key court proceedings and allowed plaintiffs to add to their legal claims long after the customary deadline.

In one of the 6th Circuit reversals of Polster’s earlier actions in the case, Judge Eric Clay, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote that Polster had wrongly tried to create “a new form of class action, wholly untethered [from existing law] … [which] may not be employed by a court.”…

[To read the full column, please follow this link.]


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