Dan Polster

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.

Cleveland downtown
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Nov. 20:

Deal Reached In Cuyahoga, Summit Opioid Lawsuits

Oct 21, 2019

Updated: 5:39, Oct. 21, 2019

The three largest U.S. drug distributors and one drugmaker reached a $260 million settlement with Cuyahoga and Summit counties hours before the start of the first trial in the wide-ranging national litigation over the opioid crisis. 

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said they had reached a settlement in principle with distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson as well as drug manufacturer Teva.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Oct. 17:

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 24

Make no mistake: The legal fight over liability for the U.S. opioid crisis is only heating up.

Drug companies may try to turn the tables on Cuyahoga County in the coming federal opioid trial, presenting evidence on the troubled the county jail and in the department of children and family services in an effort to minimize the role of their drugs in local problems.

With jury selection scheduled to begin next week and opening statements set for Oct. 21, attorneys for both sides are disputing which evidence and witnesses should be presented at trial.

Summit County Leaders Prepare for Opioid Trial

Oct 9, 2019
a photo of Greta Johnson
SUMMIT COUNTY

Pharmaceutical maker Johnson & Johnson recently announced a settlement in a lawsuit Summit County filed over the opioid epidemic. For more on this development and the county's legal action, WKSU's Jennifer Conn talked with Greta Johnson, assistance chief of staff for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and an attorney.  She explained where things stand, but could not specify the defendants in the suit by name because the case is ongoing.

Medications
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Oct. 2:

Opioid Trial Judge Will Not Recuse Himself

Sep 27, 2019

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster will not recuse himself from hearing the broad, national opioid litigation set to go to trial in Cleveland next month.

Several drug companies involved in the suits – including Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – filed a motion Sept. 14 objecting to the judge’s push for settlements and requesting he remove himself from the case.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 27:

Eric Stimac’s path to addiction began with a work injury.

Several years ago, he said, he was working a side job on a day off.

“It was some stage flooring,” he said. “We were unloading off the back of a box truck, and it fell off of the lift gate and then landed on my foot and crushed my foot.”

Stimac couldn’t walk for months. He was prescribed Oxycontin, then Percocet and eventually became addicted to the pills.

Photo of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump
LYDIA TAYLOR / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, September 16:

A group of drug companies is pushing for U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to recuse himself from the wide-reaching array of local government lawsuits over the opioid crisis, objecting to the judge’s push for settlements. 

Attorneys for Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and other drug makers and distributors filed the motion Saturday morning in federal court in Cleveland. 

Two drug companies have reached agreements in principle with Cuyahoga and Summit counties to settle the local governments’ federal lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

The federal judge overseeing thousands of opioid lawsuits appears poised to approve a pathway for resolving local government claims against the drug industry and dividing settlement dollars nationwide.  

“There has to be some vehicle to resolve these lawsuits,” U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster said during a Tuesday morning hearing in federal court in Cleveland.

Drug companies have not yet settled claims brought against them in federal court, but confidential settlement talks have continued since the start of the multi-district case.

The plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors are proposing creating a "negotiating class" to settle claims with the companies. 

Lawyers for the drug companies and the cities, counties and towns suing them descended on District Court Judge Dan Polster's Clevleand federal district courtroom Tuesday for a hearing.

Polster started by saying the opioid litigation in front of him has been “called by some the most complex litigation ever tried.”

Photo of the Smucker House
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 6:

  • Smucker Co. completes $375M sale;
  • Akron's West Point Market to shut down;
  • Purdue Pharma to make grant for low-dose naloxone nasal spray;
  • Documents show potential tax charges in December Cleveland City Hall raid;
  • Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert looking to exit casino business;
  • Obama to campaign for Democrats in Cleveland; 

Smucker Co. completes $375M sale

photo of CAK departure drop-off
Akron-Canton Airport

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, August 29: