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Law360: Plainspoken Plaintiff Opening Statements

June 30, 2021

Source: Law360

And so Tuesday’s opening statements served up easily digestible charts, graphics and pictures seasoned very lightly with the underlying legal issues, such as drug company obligations under the Controlled Substances Act to watch for suspicious opioid orders.

Hunter Shkolnik, for example, presented the jurors with an AmerisourceBergen Corp. investigator’s email that had the subject line “Oxycontin for kids” and contained a parody of a Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal box that read, “Killogg’s Smack,” referring to a street name for heroin.

At another point, Shkolnik projected an email — reported by Law360 last year and wielded during the ongoing opioid trial in West Virginia — in which the same investigator joked about “pillbillies” in lyrics set to the tune of the theme song in “The Beverly Hillbillies” television show.

“Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed,” the lyrics said. “A poor mountaineer, barely kept his habit fed.”

“That’s the way they’re joking, these companies,” Shkolnik told the jurors.

Read more at: https://www.law360.com/trials/articles/1398315/facing-1st-jury-opioid-attys-turn-to-instagram-wizard-of-oz-?copied=1

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