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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss: lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds: geography, race, gender, level of education or income.The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets. First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources. What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper. WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide. Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

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

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SHUTTERSTOCK
/
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.