Opioid-addiction litigation heads to complex trial

Talks to settle lawsuits involving the opioid epidemic appeared to be at a standstill on Sunday, just a day before the trial is set to begin.

Talks to settle lawsuits involving the opioid epidemic appeared to be at a standstill on Sunday, just a day before the trial is set to begin. With at least 400,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States since 1999, many states and more than 2,500 cities, counties, Native American tribes, and others have filed lawsuits that seek to blame drug companies and distributors for their roles in the crisis. Most of the lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court in Cleveland in front of U.S. District Judge Dan Polster. The jury trial is set to begin Monday with two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, which Polster selected as a test case to help guide the rest of the lawsuits centralized before him. According to lawyers, settlement discussions were at an impasse over the amount of money companies are willing to pay and how it would be distributed among state and local governments.