Law360 Quotes Hunter Shkolnik on Teva’s Opioid Parody Videos
November 4, 2021
Teva Pharmaceuticals is scrambling to stop jurors in a New York opioid trial from viewing internal videos that transformed famous film scenes into parodies of narcotic painkiller marketing, warning that the clips are so provocative they could single-handedly destroy the drugmaker's defense.
Although the precise content of the clips remains unclear, Napoli Shkolnik PLLC partner Hunter J. Shkolnik, counsel for Nassau County, told Law360 that one of the parodies involves dialogue dubbed into an "Austin Powers" film during a scene in the lair of the spy-comedy's chief villain, Dr. Evil.
"They're sitting in the [Dr.] Evil lair around the conference table ... and each person plays another member of the hierarchy of the sales force. And the guy at the far end says something like, 'Oh, we shouldn't be allowed to do that — that's inappropriate,'" after which someone promptly "drops him in the shark tank to be eaten," Shkolnik recalled.
The parody is "basically saying, 'Market it in violation of the labeling,'" Shkolnik added. "I mean, it's unbelievable."