Over the past several weeks, it has been revealed that Endo Pharmaceuticals failed to comply with the discovery process in lawsuits in Tennessee and New York, and it appears that it has tried to withhold the same documents in dozens of lawsuits across the country. Its attorneys, led by Arnold & Porter, LLP, became complicit in that failure by representing the information the company did provide as complete rather than pressing for a reasonable search and full disclosure.

As a result, the attorneys at Arnold & Porter and other firms defending Endo face significant penalties. In Tennessee, the Chancellor overseeing a case Endo ultimately settled for $35 million threatened sanctions, and the New York Attorney General’s office, which reached a $50 million settlement, has called for disbarment and other penalties. Observers of the legal profession consider failing to comply with the obligations of discovery a cardinal sin, since the legal system relies on that information to reach a fair judgment.

Because the opioid crisis is so widespread, with such deep and diverse impacts on communities across the country, civil litigation against the pharmaceutical companies that contributed to it are incredibly complex. Endo and its attorneys made their cases even more difficult for plaintiffs’ attorneys, underscoring the need for experienced counsel in these cases.