A Delaware court on Friday refused to dismiss or stay opioid-related lawsuits filed against CVS Health Corp., despite parallel litigation in Rhode Island.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS has been named as a defendant in “countless” lawsuits for contributing to and profiting from the nation’s opioid crisis, according to the Delaware Superior Court’s ruling in In Re: CVS Opioid Insurance Litigation.
Eight of CVS’s insurers, including American International Group Inc. and Chubb Ltd. entities, filed two lawsuits in court in February seeking declarations that they had no duty to defend or indemnify CVS against the opioid lawsuits.
Days later, CVS filed parallel lawsuits in state court in Rhode Island, according to the ruling.
CVS sought to have the Delaware suit dismissed, accusing the insurers of forum shopping and arguing that Rhode Island is the proper venue for the case to be tried.
To prove its case, CVS must “show a sufficient burden visited by the plaintiff̵7;s choice of Delaware as the forum for bringing the action,” the ruling said.
CVS argued that the insurers’ “alleged forum shopping weighs in favor of dismissing or staying the Delaware action,” it said.
“In response, insurers argue that CVS’s allegations do not change its burden of showing overwhelming hardship and that CVS is, in any event, seeking to engage in forum shopping itself by avoiding litigating this dispute in Delaware,” the ruling said. the insurers.
As for hardship, the ruling said modern methods of information and transportation do not create “overwhelming hardship” for CVS if the case is heard in Delaware rather than Rhode Island.
Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. contributed to San Francisco’s opioid epidemic through its sale of prescription drugs in the city.