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02/09/2019

Opioid Lawsuits Are Headed to Trial. Here’s Why the Stakes Are Getting Uglier.

External Link - Source: The New York Times

Uncontested: The devastation from prescription opioids has been deadly and inordinately expensive.

Contested: Who should foot the bill?

Just over a year ago, opioid lawsuits against makers and distributors of the painkillers were proliferating so rapidly that a judicial panel bundled all the federal cases under the stewardship of a single judge. On a January morning, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio made his opening remarks to lawyers for nearly 200 municipal governments gathered in his Cleveland courtroom. He wanted the national opioid crisis resolved with a meaningful settlement within a year, proclaiming, “We don’t need briefs and we don’t need trials.”

That year is up.

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