Justia Drugs & Biotech Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court concluding that Acuity, an insurer, did not owe Masters Pharmaceutical, Inc. a duty to defend it in the several lawsuits brought by cities and counties in three states (the governments) for losses caused by the opioid epidemic, holding that Acuity did not owe Masters a duty to defend.Cities and counties in West Virginia, Michigan, and Nevada brought the underlying lawsuits against Masters, a wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical products, including prescription opioids, alleging that Masters's conduct contributed to the opioid epidemic. Acuity filed an action for a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend or indemnify Masters in the underlying suits. The trial court granted summary judgment for Acuity. The court of appeals reversed. At issue was whether the governments sought damages for their own economic losses and not "damages because of bodily injury." The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the governments did not seek "damages because of bodily injury"; and (2) therefore, Acuity did not owe Masters a duty to defend it in the underlying suits. View "Acuity v. Masters Pharmaceuticals, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Pountney was indicted for theft, identity fraud, and two counts of drug possession—one involving fentanyl and one involving acetaminophen with codeine. Pountney stipulated to the charges of theft, identity fraud, and possession of acetaminophen with codeine. Count 4 alleged that Pountney knowingly obtained, possessed or used at least five but not more than 50 times the "bulk amount" of fentanyl, R.C. 2925.11(A), a second-degree felony under R.C. 2925.11(C)(1)(c). The “bulk amount” of a Schedule II opiate or opium derivative, like fentanyl, is an amount equal to or exceeding 20 grams or five times the maximum daily dose in the usual dose range specified in a standard pharmaceutical reference manual. Pountney stipulated that he knowingly obtained 10 three-day transdermal fentanyl patches; each delivered 50 micrograms of fentanyl per hour. If the state proved that 10 patches equaled or exceeded five times the bulk amount of transdermal fentanyl, Pountney would be guilty of a second-degree felony; otherwise, he would be guilty of a fifth-degree felony. The court found Pountney guilty on all counts, including second-degree-felony aggravated possession of fentanyl. The Eighth District reversed with instructions to enter a finding of guilty on Count 4 as a fifth-degree felony. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed. Although there is no usual dose range of fentanyl, the state may not rely upon the usual dose range of morphine, the prototype opiate, to establish the bulk amount of fentanyl under R.C. 2925.01(D)(1)(d). View "State v. Pountney" on Justia Law

by
In this appeal from the judgment of the court of appeals in which the court concluded that the Industrial Commission of Ohio should not have denied the application of Appellee for permanent total disability compensation, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment to the extent that it granted a limited writ of mandamus. The Commission denied Appellee's application, in part, based on Appellee’s refusal to participate in rehabilitative services. The court of appeals issued the limited writ ordering the Commission to address the merits of Appellee’s application without relying on his alleged refusal to accept vocational-rehabilitation services. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and ordered the Commission to consider all the evidence in the record that is related to vocational-rehabilitation services before determining whether Appellee was entitled to permanent total disability compensation. View "State ex rel. Gulley v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law