Beshear Wins Final Battle to Keep Opioid Companies in Kentucky Courts

Cardinal Health’s efforts to evade justice denied by Jefferson circuit judge

FRANKFORT, KY. (Sept. 13, 2019) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced that all nine of his lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors have withstood attempts by the various companies to have the lawsuits dismissed, and all nine suits continue moving forward in Kentucky’s court system.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson issued an order denying Cardinal Health’s motion to dismiss Thursday.

To date, circuit judges in Boone, Fayette, Floyd, Hardin, Madison and McCracken counties have denied motions to dismiss by Walgreens, Teva Pharmaceuticals, AmerisourceBergen, Insys Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals respectively. Motions to dismiss were also filed in Franklin Circuit Court by Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corporation; both were denied as well.

“Not only must these opioid companies be held accountable for what they have done to Kentucky communities, but they should stand in our courtrooms and explain their actions to the families of their victims,” Beshear said. “Our litigation team has defeated all of these efforts to avoid responsibility and these corporations will ultimately have to pay to help in the recovery our communities need and deserve.”

Kentucky leads the nation in the number of individual opioid lawsuits filed by an attorney general. Beshear brought the nine lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies alleging they inundated Kentucky communities with dangerous prescription drugs.

Beshear’s lawsuit claims Cardinal Health reaped “a windfall off of the wave of addiction” in Kentucky by choosing profits over people while abrogating its duty to report suspiciously large orders of controlled substances, including opioids, to state and federal law enforcement as required by federal and state laws.

Beshear has previously highlighted that Cardinal Health flooded Boyd, Clay, Floyd and Jefferson counties with high volumes of prescription opioids. From 2012 through 2016, more than 1,250 Kentuckians died from opioid overdoses in these four Kentucky counties alone. Statewide, for the same timeframe, Kentucky experienced more than 5,800 fatal overdoses.

Beshear said Kentucky families deserve to see justice brought in these cases and his office is continuing to move each case forward.

Kentuckians can track the progress of each of these opioid cases by visiting