Ohio opioid woes one reason drug lawsuits brought to state

Summary and Analysis…

This article discusses why more than 200 lawsuits against drug companies for their part in causing the opioid crisis have been consolidated into a court in Cleveland, Ohio.

Although such multiple jurisdiction cases often take years, the judge in this case wants to move forward quickly enough to “do something to dramatically reduce the number of opioids that are being disseminated, manufactured and distributed” in 2018.

Excerpted from Chicago Tribune

The role that drugmakers and drug distributors played in contributing to the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic is now front and center in a federal courtroom in Cleveland.

Judge Dan Polster is overseeing more than 200 lawsuits against drug companies brought by local communities across the country, including those in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The lawsuits have been consolidated into what is known as “multidistrict litigation,” an approach taken when lawsuits of a similar nature are filed around the country.

The consolidation comes in the midst of the most widespread and deadly drug crisis in the nation’s history. The government tallied 63,600 overdose drug deaths in 2016, another record. Most of the deaths involved prescription opioids such as OxyContin or Vicodin or related illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.