U.S. District Judge Dan Polster has added a new opioid trial to the calendar, this one litigating Cuyahoga and Summit counties’ claims against pharmacy chains.
Polster, who is overseeing the thousands of opioid-related lawsuits, set a trial date of Oct. 13, 2020 in an order issued Tuesday.
The two counties are amending their lawsuits to accuse pharmacies of failing to look out for suspicious prescriptions for opioid painkillers, with the judge’s approval.
Pharmacies tried unsuccessfully to oppose the move, arguing that they were already being sued as distributors and that it was too late to pile on new claims against them.
Cuyahoga and Summit counties agreed to a $260 million settlement from drug distributors and manufacturers last month, accepting a deal hours before the trial was set to begin.
The two counties named Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Giant Eagle in the amended suit, with Cuyahoga County also bringing claims against Discount Drug Mart. Polster scheduled jury selection in the pharmacy case to begin Oct. 7, 2020, and wrote that he expects the trial to last four or five weeks.
Polster also recommended that lawsuits brought against drug companies by San Francisco, Chicago and the Cherokee Nation move forward in federal courts around the country.