opioid crisis

Local Opioid Lawsuits Head To Trial Next Year

Dec 24, 2018

The first round of lawsuits over the opioid crisis is scheduled for trial next year, with cases from Northeast Ohio at the front of the line.

Suits brought by Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Summit County are among hundreds of cases against companies that made, shipped or sold opioids. The local cases are set to go to trial September 3, 2019.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who is presiding over the multidistrict litigation from his downtown Cleveland courtroom, dismissed drug companies’ efforts to have claims against them thrown out.

photo of Mike DeWine

With just over a month before he takes office, Governor-elect Mike DeWine spoke to the leaders of the state’s 88 counties – who plan to pressure him for more funding in the upcoming budget process.

Akron EMS and other first responders carry Narcan

Overdose deaths are down in Summit County since a public health emergency was declared a year ago.  Summit Health Commissioner Donna Skoda discusses what’s behind the numbers, and where the struggle against the opioid epidemic is headed.

Still grim, but encouraging numbers

photo of opioid chemical disposal system

14-thousand more disposal bags for old or left-over prescriptions are on their way to addiction-fighting organizations in Summit and surrounding counties. 

That brings the total number of disposal system bags being distributed free in the region to about 70-thousand over the past two years.


The five statewide executive offices will all turn over this year because of term limits on their occupants. The person elected treasurer will oversee Ohio’s $21.5 billion-dollar portfolio of investments, and will manage the collection of billions in state revenues. 

photo of Lordstown GM

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 13:

photo of Abraham Joy

A dozen high-tech ideas for fighting the opioid crisis have each been awarded $200,000 from Ohio’s Third Frontier fund. The winners were picked in a contest that Gov. John Kasich proposed, and there’s still a final round of cash to come.

The concepts include apps connecting people to treatment and wraparound services, a screening test for health care providers, and equipment to help with opioid withdrawal. Brian Carrico with Indiana-based Innovation Health Solutions created a device that blocks brain signals that trigger withdrawal symptoms by over 80 percent.

Photo of the Smucker House

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 Sherrod Brown, Connie Shultz

Infants born to opioid addicts would get some additional help under legislation being negotiated in the U.S. Senate. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is a sponsor of the Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act

photo of USDA panel

A collection of farming and community groups, on the state and local level, gathered in Columbus to discuss how the agriculture industry can help in the fight against the opioid crisis. Farmers can play an important role, especially in rural Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Anne Hazlett said support from farmers can go a long way in helping rural communities overcome substance abuse, from raising awareness to supporting treatment efforts.

illustration of pain prescription sources
Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2015, NBCE / American Chiropractic Association

The number of prescriptions doctors are writing for opioid pain killers is down and not just because they’re pulling back in the face of the addiction crisis.  Alternative approaches to pain treatment are finding greater acceptance in mainstream healthcare.  

Patients are looking for change
Bob Jones of Trumbull County has recurring pain from an old injury but isn’t going to be getting opioids.  He never wanted them anyway, and found his own solution for pain relief. 

photo of Kent State

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 18:

Family photo of Tamir Rice
Family of Tamir Rice

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 15:

photo of opioid pills and bottles

A task force of eight health insurers convened by the Ohio Attorney General’s office has come up with 15 recommendations on how they can help with Ohio’s deadly opioid crisis. Their list includes proposals on prevention, intervention and treatment of opioid addiction.

Cleveland skyline

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 11:

A photo of the exterior of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 14:

A photo outside the federal courthouse in Cleveland, of Brenda Ryan holding up a photo of her daughter, Sheena Moore, who died of an overdose.

Attorneys handling hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the opioid crisis say they’re making progress in discussions between local governments and drug companies.


U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster held a brief public hearing today to discuss the suits brought by cities, counties, Native American tribes and others against drug makers and distributors.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 4:

photo of prescription pills

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 3:

Emilie Zhang / Shutterstock

With the opioid crisis killing an estimated 11 Ohioans a day, state medical boards are rolling out additional rules for doctors and other prescribers who have patients dealing with long-term and acute pain. The guidelines create new hurdles to jump over before a doctor can prescribe opioid-based painkillers. 

The new requirements ask doctors to evaluate a patient’s condition, look for signs of drug misuse, and consider consultation with a pain specialist.

photo of marijuana
United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 2:

Photo of Sherrod Brown

At a City Club of Cleveland speech Monday, Sen. Sherrod Brown called for a major public health campaign to combat opioid addiction. The Ohio Democrat pointed to anti-smoking programs as a model.

Brown said that, much like the campaign against tobacco, it could take years of sustained effort to beat opioid use.

A photo of the exterior of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 6:


As opiate deaths continue to climb in Ohio, yet another deadly drug combination is making its rounds.

The “speedball,” a combination of heroin and cocaine, led to actor John Belushi’s death in the 1980’s. And the Ohio Health Department’s Dr. Mark Hurst says there’s a similar combination that’s responsible for the recent rash of opioid deaths in Ohio now. But this one involves something more potent that heroin.

“The potency of fentanyl is 50 times that of heroin and so it’s even more lethal in a dose than heroin would be.”

photo of algae bloom in Maumee Bay State Park

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, March 22: