The U.S. arm of a pharmaceutical firm that last month announced an international partnership with an Israel-based medical cannabis company was found guilty by a Suffolk County, New York jury last week of contributing to the region’s opioid crisis, the Associated Press reports.
In their verdict against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., the jury found the drug company played a role in the opioid crisis — which is legally called a public nuisance but contributed to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past 20 years.
In Thursday’s verdict, a Suffolk County jury found the drug company played a role in what is legally termed a public nuisance but had lethal consequences — an opioid use epidemic linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. in the past two decades.
“Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and others misled the American people about the true dangers of opioids,” James, a Democrat, said in a news release. “Today, we took a significant step in righting the wrongs this country has collectively experienced over the last two decades.”
Israel-based Teva, which makes medications using the powerful opioid fentanyl, said it “strongly disagrees” with the verdict and plans to appeal.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), called the verdict a “significant day” for the state, nation, and “for every family and community torn apart by opioids.”