Picture: OxyContin bottle

News 5 Cleveland: Cleveland at center of upcoming federal opioid litigation with billions at stake

This article was originally published in News 5 Cleveland.

Communities across U.S. impacted by outcome

CLEVELAND — The eyes of the nation will be trained on Cleveland in upcoming weeks as a federal opioid litigation case is rapidly picking up momentum ahead of an October trial date. Part of that momentum is a proposed settlement between Purdue Pharma and attorneys general from 23 states, including Ohio.

At stake, in what is collectively known as the “Federal Opioid Litigation” case, are billions of dollars that could be dolled out to state, counties and municipalities across the nation by pharmaceutical companies accused of knowingly fueling the nation’s opioid crisis.

As an October 21 trial date looms ahead, both plaintiff’s attorneys representing the interests of Cuyahoga and Summit counties, and attorneys defending pharmaceutical companies from allegations they deliberately hid the addictive dangers of opioid for profit, are scrambling to reach a possible settlement.

The Cuyahoga and Summit cases are called “bellwether” cases because the essential facts of each case and devastating impact to communities mirrors what has transpired in communities across the country.

As more and more lawsuits began to be filed across the nation, plaintiff’s attorneys sought to centralize individual cases so “claims could be more efficiently handled.”

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