Ohio judges postpone 2 major trials blaming pharmacies, distributors for opioid epidemic

Judges in Ohio have postponed two major opioid trials involving lawsuits that seek to penalize drugmakers and distributors for the opioid epidemic that has killed thousands of Ohioans during the last 20 years, according to Cleveland.com.

A lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s office against drug distributors was scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 18, but has been delayed until March. Judge Richard McMonagle, a retired Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge who is handling the case, made the decision because the trial posed a conflict with a murder case scheduled to begin Oct. 13 in the same courthouse.

Judge Dan Polster, citing the pandemic, postponed a trial scheduled for Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland in which Cuyahoga and Summit counties sued six pharmacies — CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Discount Drug Mart and Giant Eagle — over their opioid distribution practices. He has not set a date to reschedule the trial.

Mr. Polster is handling more than 2,500 multidistrict litigation lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies filed by states, counties and cities across the country.

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