A jury on Thursday found Teva Pharmaceutical fueled opioid addiction in New York state, a setback for a company still facing thousands of other opioid lawsuits around the U.S.
The six-month trial examined a case brought against the company by Nassau and Suffolk counties, which accused the Israel-based drugmaker of engaging in misleading marketing practices that fueled opioid addiction in the state, including by pushing drugs for off-label use.
Teva argued that it complied with federal and state regulations and denied engaging in deceptive marketing.
The verdict could pressure Teva to reach a nationwide settlement with other states and local governments over opioid claims.
U.S. officials have said that by 2019, the health crisis had led to nearly half a million opioid overdose deaths over two decades, and more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses during a 12-month period ending in April 2021.
The verdict does not include damages, which will be determined later.
New York Attorney General Letitia James called the outcome "a significant day" for the state.
Teva said in a statement that is disagrees with the outcome and will appeal.
Company shares fell several percentage points in New York within a half-hour of the decision.