NewsPasco County


Opening statements begin in Florida v. Walgreens trial over state's opioid crisis

Posted at 11:36 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 17:08:02-04

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The trial for a major lawsuit about the opioid crisis in Florida began Monday morning in a Pasco County courtroom.

Attorney General Ashley Moody showed up in court herself Monday morning to join state lawyers as their civil trial against Walgreen began.



Her office will try and prove that Walgreens’ business practices were a major cause of Florida’s opioid crisis over the last 20 years.

“We have a very strong case. We are very committed to presenting that and making that known in court,” said Moody.

The trial is in Pasco County because the state is focusing on a Walgreens in Hudson they said dispensed 2.2 million doses of oxycodone. Hudson’s population is about 12,000.

“The experts will explain how Walgreen’s worked with opioid manufacturers like Perdue Pharma to increase the supply of opioids in Florida. They will testify how once the government tried to crack down on the opioid crisis Walgreens mislead the public and Florida officials,” said Assistant Attorney General Jim Webster.

Walgreens, based in Illinois, brought a team of lawyers to Florida who will argue the doctors are the ones that ordered the prescriptions and that many are to blame for the opioid crisis including the FDA.

“The pharmacist is not there to second guess the doctor to choose a different treatment that the pharmacist might think is better,” said Walgreens’ attorney Steve Derringer.

The state said from 1999 to 2020, almost 40,000 people in Florida died from opioids.

Court officials said this trial could go on for 6 to 8 weeks.

State officials report CVS and the other pharmaceutical companies have to pay the state of Florida a combined $860 million as part of their settlement. Thus far, Florida has received more than $3 billion.