Court filings say corporations fed opioid epidemic

Cities, towns, and counties on Friday filed thousands of documents from corporations across the pharmaceutical supply chain as they laid out a detailed case of how diverse interests fed an opioid epidemic that persisted for nearly 2 decades.

Cities, towns, and counties on Friday filed thousands of documents from corporations across the pharmaceutical supply chain as they laid out a detailed case of how diverse interests fed an opioid epidemic that persisted for nearly 2 decades. The filings represent a signature moment in the run-up to the first trial of nearly 2,000 cases brought by cities and counties nationwide, consolidated in an Ohio federal court. They are seeking billions of dollars in compensation from the corporations implicated in the opioid epidemic. Both sides have largely finished gathering evidence, and Friday's filings attempt to solidify major claims for the first trial, which is scheduled to begin in October. Stemming from a lawsuit brought by Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio, it is intended as a litmus test for the remaining cases. Judge Dan Aaron Polster of Federal District Court of Northern Ohio hopes that the sides can reach a national settlement that could award money to cities, towns, and counties across the country, and foreclose further opioid lawsuits. With Friday's briefs, the plaintiffs want the judge to rule that for years, defendants ignored and violated laws that required them to monitor and report suspicious orders. For years, long after the opioid crisis began, the giant pharmacy chains did almost nothing to fulfill their legal duty to monitor suspicious orders, the plaintiffs’ lawyers claim.