Dozens of Lawsuits Vs. Opioid Makers and Distributors Will be Heard in Cleveland

Dec 6, 2017

Cleveland judge Dan Polster will hear pretrial motions.
Credit ShutterShock / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Dozens of lawsuits filed by cities, counties and states across the country against opioid manufacturers and distributors will be consolidated in an Ohio court.

A panel of federal judges decided Tuesday that 64 lawsuits filed in seven states, including Ohio, will have their cases consolidated and pretrial motions will be heard by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland.

The cases allege that a group of the nation’s largest opioid distributors and manufacturers overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of their opioid medications and aggressively marketed them to doctors.

The consolidation includes two cases from Northeast Ohio filed by the cities of Lorain and Parma, as well as 14 cases filed in the Southern District of Ohio, including those filed by Cincinnati and Dayton. Cases from Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Washington and West Virginia are also included.

Beyond the federal claims, 115 other lawsuits dealing with similar claims have been filed in state and local courts. Those cases, like the lawsuits filed by Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio could be moved to the federal court in Ohio as well.