FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Commercial Operations

Judge Says Cherokee Nation Lacks Jurisdiction in Opioid Suit

Jan. 19, 2018

An Oklahoma federal judge halted a tribal court lawsuit from the Cherokee Nation against a group of pharmacies and drug distributors.

Judge Terence Kern of the Northern District of Oklahoma ruled the tribal court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit. The complaint, which involves six pharmacy operators and wholesale drug distributors, does not directly involve tribal self-government, according to Kern.

The lawsuit cites the harm done to individual tribal members and families, which Kern ruled did not affect tribal government. The Nation was the first major tribe to sue drug distributors and pharmacists when it filed the suit last spring.

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