Pharmacies in Opioid Case Want Judge to Ban Ex Parte Communications

Judge Dan Polster, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. (Courtesy photo)

After reaching a multimillion-dollar settlement with drug companies in October that averted the first trial over the opioid crisis, lead plaintiffs lawyers are gearing up for the next trial: this time, against six pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS.

Ahead of that trial, the pharmacies, however, have revived concerns about judicial conduct in the opioid litigation.

The day before a Dec. 4 hearing about the trial, they asked U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio to issue an unusual order barring ex parte communications with himself or any of the three special masters as to “substantive matters,” such as discovery deadlines and trial dates, as well as settlement discussions.