Court expert says federal opioid lawsuit should move forward

CLEVELAND (AP) — A court-appointed expert in a case with national implications for addressing the opioid epidemic is recommending that a pivotal lawsuit move forward.

Drug makers, distributors and pharmacies had argued that a lawsuit filed by Summit County, Ohio, should be dismissed. The case is among more than 1,000 cases filed by local and state governments against the industry in federal courts.

They have been consolidated under U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland. He is pushing the companies and governments to reach a settlement, but also has scheduled trials for the case from Summit County and some other places for next year.

They would serve as test cases for rulings in other lawsuits. Polster has given the parties two weeks to object to a special master’s report issued Friday.

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