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Judge makes pretrial ruling against Endo Pharmaceuticals

In a ruling filed in Sullivan County Circuit Court on April 6, 2021, Chancellor E.G. Moody was  granted a default judgment against Endo Health Solutions, Inc. and Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  The case of Staubus vs. Purdue, widely recognized as the Sullivan Baby Doe suit. Baby Doe is represented by the firm of Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings of Nashville, Tennessee.

The judgment includes many false statements made by the attorneys of Endo Pharmaceuticals to the court, describing a coordinated strategy between Endo and its counsel to interfere with the administration of justice. The companies are liable for damages sought, an amount that totals $2.4 billion.The court has reserved issuing a final judgment on that amount, pending a damages trial. The ruling can be read here.

Barry Staubus, district attorney general for Tennessee’s Second Judicial District said that for years we have worked to hold major opioid producers and distributors accountable for the long-term damage they have caused in our Tennessee communities. They have understood from the beginning that justice for those babies who were born drug dependent and the rural areas that these companies victimized would constitute a fight on the level of David versus Goliath. All those harmed by this epidemic will now see Goliath face justice.

The Sullivan Baby Doe suit was originally filed 2017, by the district attorneys general of Tennessee’s First, Second and Third Judicial Districts in Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport, Tennessee. The complaint listed prescription opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, L.P. and its related companies, along with Mallinckrodt PLC, Endo Pharmaceuticals, a pill mill doctor and other convicted opioid dealers as defendants.

A December 2020 opinion filed by the Tennessee State Supreme Court affirmed the validity of that argument and the ability for plaintiffs to sue on behalf of babies harmed in utero by the opioid epidemic.The national scrutiny was brought to bear on opioid producers and distributors, due in part to Sullivan Baby Doe’s arguments, Purdue and Mallinckrodt have both declared bankruptcy, with claims proceeding against them in related courts. Endo Pharmaceuticals remains the only active corporate defendant

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