Lawyers on Legal Speed –
Oct. 18, 2019 – Summoned to the federal courthouse here by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster, state attorneys general, corporate executives and lawyers for 2,400 cities and counties that have sued the drug industry failed to agree on a proposed $50 billion plan to settle the lawsuits. That would have averted the first federal trial of the U.S. opioid epidemic. Unless the three groups can resolve their differences in less-formal conversations over the weekend, the trial that pits two Ohio counties against six drug companies is scheduled to start with opening arguments Monday morning. “We’ve . . . got a jury in the box. This case is going to trial,” said Joseph F. Rice, one of the lead attorneys for the cities, counties, Native American tribes and other groups who have filed suit against dozens of drug companies. Their cases have been consolidated in an enormous “multidistrict litigation” here.