Report: Ohio Judge looks to settle lawsuits against drug makers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trumbull and Columbiana Counties are among those suing

Report: Ohio Judge looks to settle lawsuits against drug makers

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

The Associated Press reports that federal judge in Cleveland is ready to start talks on a possible settlement of hundreds of lawsuits brought against drugmakers and drug distributors over the nation's opioid epidemic.

More than 250 lawsuits filed by communities across the country, including Trumbull and Columbiana Counties, have been consolidated in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster.

Columbiana County joined the lawsuit in August alleging that the manufacturers knew the risks of the drugs before placing them on the market.

Trumbull County, which sued in December, has been especially hard hit by the opioid epidemic with a deadly overdose rate of 34.2 per 100,000 population.

Commissioners in Mercer County, Pennsylvania announced last week that they were investigating the possibility of joining the lawsuit.

The AP reports that Polster planned Wednesday to bring together lawyers for municipal and state governments, drugmakers, drug distributors and others to start the conversation.

The judge has closed the discussions to the public and media since the aim is to broker a settlement, according to the AP.

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