Jayne Conroy of Simmons Hanly Conroy is pretty accustomed to complex, high-stakes work for plaintiffs. During her 35-plus years of practice, she’s been on trial teams that won three straight nine-digit verdicts in bellwether trials in multidistrict litigation involving Johnson & Johnson hip implant devices. She was also on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” MDL.
But Conroy told me yesterday that her work representing communities affected by the opioid crisis in the U.S. has been of a whole different scale. Conroy, one of the three co-leads of the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation MDL pending before Senior U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio, has had trial wins in opioid cases on either coast. She was lead counsel for Suffolk County in the New York State opioid trial where last year jurors found opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals and distributor Anda liable for contributing to the opioid epidemic. She was also part of the trial team representing San Francisco in a bench trial that resulted in Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer finding that pharmacy chain Walgreens liable for substantially contributing to the opioid epidemic in the city.