Lawyers representing Trumbull County in a federal lawsuit against pharmacies alleging responsibility for the opioid crisis, currently on trial in Cleveland, are asking the judge to disallow motions filed by Walgreens and CVS to limit the testimony of a former DEA agent.

This case is seen as an indicator that could encourage or discourage other communities from pursuing similar lawsuits.

Trumbull and Lake counties filed a joint complaint in 2018 regarding the number of prescription pain relievers dispensed in counties between 2012 and 2016. The amount was equivalent to 400 tablets for every resident of Trumbull County and Lake County , it was equivalent to 265 tablets for each resident.

The counties claim that retail pharmacies have helped inject addictive prescription pills into the community in an irresponsible manner that ignored guarantees in order to make money. Pharmacies and other companies involved in manufacturing, marketing and distributing drugs have helped spark a wave of opioid addiction, which has cost and costs millions to fight, according to counties.

The companies deny any responsibility.

The costume is called Giant Eagle, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS. Rite Aid was a defendant, but the company reached a $ 1.5 million settlement with Trumbull County Commissioners.

Former DEA agent and official Joseph Rannazzisi is expected to testify in the case, and the plaintiffs have also asked the court to videotape his testimony for possible use in future cases.

Walgreens attorneys on Monday asked North Ohio District Court Judge Dan Polster to limit the scope of Rannazzisi’s testimony on any public inquiry or settlement involving the company to his own experiences on a case in Florida and to prevent it from offering expert testimony about Walgreens’ policies, procedures or systems “in Florida or elsewhere, because he was not disclosed as an expert …”, the court document says.

“First, Mr. Rannazzisi does not have the personal knowledge necessary to testify as a fact witness about a public inquiry or settlement involving Walgreens outside of Florida,” the lawyers argue. “In his deposition last month, Mr. Rannazzisi said that with the exception of Florida, he had no ‘personal knowledge’ based on” (public) investigations … conducted by the DEA “into cases of “Walgreens Filling Illegitimate Prescriptions”.

According to a transcript of his September deposition, Rannazzisi said he did not “Personal knowledge” based on “public information” of an Ohio Walgreens pharmacist filling a prescription that was then diverted.

But, he saw documents made public from an investigation in Florida.

“There was a Florida pharmacy in Oviedo – Oviedo, Fla. Where the chief of police briefed Walgreens on several occasions of people buying drugs at that particular Walgreens pharmacy and then distributing them in the parking lot,” said Rannazzisi.

It was limited to answers based on the knowledge available to the public.

CVS attorneys made a similar argument, asking the court to prevent Rannazzisi from offering expert testimony about the company, offering testimony on settlements or investigations into the company, and testimony on witness interviews and meetings related to the Florida DEA investigation.

Trumbull County attorneys argued the court should not grant the companies’ claims and declare the “The arguments are unfounded”.

“Contrary to CVS’s assertions, Mr. Rannazzisi has personal knowledge of the (Florida) investigation and decision, as he will explain at trial. During this period, he was the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Review Office. In this role, he was responsible for all cases… ”, status of court documents.

Rannazzisi has personal knowledge of regulations and investigations involving pharmacies, lawyers say. They only intend to seek testimony about the Florida CVS investigation and regulation and a 2011 Walgreens regulation in California – which applied to all Walgreens pharmacies, the document said.

And, Rannazzisi is already appearing as a fact witness, not an expert witness, county prosecutors say.

The latest news today and more in your inbox


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.