(WKBN) — Leaders of Walmart, Walgreens and CVS — the drug store companies involved in Wednesday’s multimillion-dollar opioid settlement with Trumbull County — all say they plan to appeal the judge’s decision.
“Plaintiffs’ attorneys sued Walmart in search of deep pockets, and this judgment follows a trial that was engineered to favor the plaintiffs’ attorneys and was riddled with remarkable legal and factual mistakes,” was the statement Walmart posted on its website. “We will appeal.”
The settlement announced by Federal Judge Dan Polster awarded Trumbull and Lake Counties $650 million over 15 years. Trumbull County will receive $344 million, or $22.9 million a year.
The settlement came nine months after a jury in Cleveland Federal Court found the three pharmacy chains had recklessly distributed pain pills in Trumbull and Lake Counties.
“The facts and the law did not support the jury verdict last fall, and they do not support the court’s decision now,” wrote Scott Goldberg, Director of Global Corporate Communications for Walgreens. “We never manufactured or marketed opioids nor did we distribute them to the ‘pill mills’ and internet pharmacies that fueled this crisis. We look forward to the opportunity to address these issues on appeal.”
Kara Page, Manager of Corporate Communications for CVS Health, wrote that “we strongly disagree with the court’s decision.”
“Pharmacists fill legal prescriptions written by DEA-licensed doctors who prescribe legal, FDA-approved substances to treat actual patients in need,” wrote Page. “We look forward to the appeals court review of this case, including the misapplication of public nuisance law.”
Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalemessa, who previously said he was “beyond pleased” with the settlement, said he hasn’t “had an opportunity to discuss with attorneys” the pharmacy chain’s plans to appeal.
“Both the judgment and now this news have all happened very rapidly,” said Cantalemessa.