Class-action law firm says settlement is another step in the fight against fallout from the opioid epidemic
A $175 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit regarding opioids brought against McKesson by shareholders on behalf of the company, according to investor-rights law firm, Hagens Berman.
The lawsuit claims that the company’s board failed in its oversight of opioid sales, even after incurring millions in fines for previous compliance failures.
Hagens Berman represented the shareholders suing on behalf of McKesson, and also continues the fight against several Big Pharma giants for their reckless behavior concerning opioids, which the firm argues has amounted to a public nuisance akin to Big Tobacco's unlawful behavior that was similarly combatted in court in the 1990s. Hagens Berman currently represents several states, cities and other municipalities in cases pertaining to the national opioid epidemic.
The settlement, pending final court approval, will bring a host of reforms to McKesson, including separating the roles of CEO and chairman, term-limiting directors and reforming "the composition, mandate, and training of McKesson’s compliance committee."
Under the terms of the settlement, McKesson would also undergo "improvements in reporting to the compliance committee and reporting by the compliance committee, revisions to the company’s compensation clawback policy, and enhancements to the company’s disclosures relating to lobbying concerning controlled substances and adjustments to executive compensation based on legal or compliance costs."
"As in every settlement we seek, we believe this preliminarily approved deal will not only bring meaningful recovery to plaintiffs but will also establish new guidelines and a framework that will help protect the public from another crisis similar to the opioid epidemic," said Steve Berman, co-founder and managing partner of Hagens Berman. "Left to its own, McKesson might have repeated itself, but through this settlement, corporate reform and other cases against Big Pharma, we hope to keep that from happening."
A hearing on final approval is set for April 21, 2020.
"We consider this another step in remedying the fallout from the opioid epidemic and will continue to fight for those most affected," Berman added.
The suit followed a 2015 settlement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice and several U.S. Attorney offices, which resulted in a $150 million civil penalty against McKesson. The company was also forced to face new obligations to strengthen programs for monitoring and reporting suspicious opioid shipments.
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Hagens Berman is a national law firm representing investors, whistleblowers, workers and consumers in complex litigation. More about the firm and its successes is located at hbsslaw.com. For the latest news visit our newsroom or follow us on Twitter at @classactionlaw.