Four drug companies reach a settlement as opioid trial was set to begin – CNBC
Claims against smaller distributor Henry Schein by Summit County were dismissed over the weekend. Cuyahoga had not sued that company.
On Friday, U.S. Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland summoned executives from the big three distributors and Teva to court to hammer out a global deal that would have averted the trial. Polster also invited states, which have sued but do not have cases before him, to participate in settlement talks.
Polster oversees more than 2,300 of the roughly 2,600 U.S. opioid lawsuits.
After nearly 11 hours, during which Polster shuttled between plaintiffs and defendants, the talks ended without a deal.
The breakdown marked a setback for Polster, who has aggressively pushed for a settlement that “could do something meaningful to abate this crisis.”
Pharmacy chains and drug distributors unsuccessfully tried to remove the outspoken judge from the case, saying he was biased and had pressed too hard for a costly settlement.
Attorney Paul Hanly told reporters on Friday that local governments he represents were not on the same page as the state attorneys general involved in the talks.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said it was profoundly disappointing that local governments would not go along with a settlement he valued at $48 billion, including $22 billion in cash and $26 billion in products and services.
—CNBC contributed to this report.