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Companies reach $260 million deal to settle U.S. opioids lawsuit

Last Updated Oct 21, 2019 at 8:12 am PDT

Attorney Joe Rice, center, speaks to the media outside the U.S. Federal courthouse, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Cleveland. The nation's three dominant drug distributors and a big drugmaker have reached a $260 million deal to settle a lawsuit related to the opioid crisis just as the first federal trial over the crisis was due to begin Monday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Summary

Settlement between companies, Ohio counties reached in opioid lawsuit

The settlement means the closely watched trial will not move forward now

Across the country, the drug industry is facing more than 2,600 lawsuits brought by state, local governments

CLEVELAND — The three biggest U.S. drug distributors and a major drugmaker reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties over the deadly havoc wreaked by opioids, just hours before the first federal trial over the crisis was about to begin Monday.

The settlement means the closely watched trial will not move forward now.

The trial involved only two counties — Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County and Akron’s Summit County — but was seen as an important test case that could gauge the strength of the opposing sides’ arguments and prod them toward a nationwide settlement.