Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings Attorneys Play Integral Role in DDLA Ruling

Dec 30, 2020

In 2017, attorneys with Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings (BS&J) began litigating against major opioid producers on behalf of the most vulnerable plaintiffs in the opioid epidemic – babies who were harmed in utero by their mothers’ use of drugs.

The Tennessee Baby Doe suits were the first of their kind in the nation, and were filed against producers – including Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Endo Health Solutions – under Tennessee’s Drug Dealer Liability Act (DDLA). Over the past three years, producers have repeatedly attempted to delay or derail the suits by arguing that companies who operate in compliance with FDA guidelines cannot be classified as drug dealers under the DDLA.

On Dec. 17, 2020, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that the DDLA does indeed apply to companies that knowingly participate in the illegal drug market, a pivotal decision that allows the Baby Doe suits to move forward.

In an article published Dec. 18, 2020, by the Associated Press (AP), BS&J Managing Partner Gerard Stranch stated that “By its decision, the Court has helped ensure that the opioid producers who flooded our communities with pills will face a jury of citizens where they will have to explain their reprehensible conduct.”

Read the full article here.