U.S. v Walmart

No. 20-1744-CFC

Firm: Jones Day

Issue Area: Pharma and Tobacco

Case summary

Jones Day defended Walmart in a lawsuit alleging that the corporation's pharmacists overprescribed opioids. The marketing and over-prescription of opioids has killed hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. Jones Day argued that although Walmart may have had the aggregate information to show that opioids were being overprescribed, it did not have information showing that any particular prescription was invalid.

Excerpt from the firm's work product

"The Complaint focuses on this second rule, but fails to plead facts sufficient to show that Walmart pharmacists violated the law on even a single occasion. Despite a multi-year investigation, the Government has failed to identify even a single prescription the Government claims was actually invalid, much less that any individual pharmacist knew was invalid but filled anyway. Rather, the Complaint alleges only that Walmart had access to aggregate information suggesting that certain types of prescriptions, or prescriptions written by certain doctors, were subject to doubt and thus might have been invalid. The Government’s Complaint is sensationalist but ultimately hollow, resting on legally impermissible shortcuts that are designed to cast aspersions on large numbers of prescriptions without actually alleging that individual Walmart pharmacists ever knowingly filled invalid ones."

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