(Reuters) – The chief executives of the three largest U.S. drug distributors and a drugmaker have been summoned to appear before a federal judge to discuss a proposal to resolve thousands of lawsuits alleging they fueled the U.S. opioid crisis, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The order by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio, came as distributors McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd moved to reach a deal ahead of a trial before him that begins on Monday.
Companies - Johnson - Johnson - Settlement - Value
Those companies, along with Johnson & Johnson, have been negotiating a settlement they value at roughly $50 billion that would allow them to resolve 2,600 lawsuits nationally by largely states and localities, people familiar with the matter said.
All of those companies except J&J are set to be defendants in the trial before Polster, who oversees the bulk of the litigation. Polster has pushed for a deal that could “do something meaningful to abate this crisis.”
Companies - Settlement - State - Attorneys - Cases
The companies have been discussing the settlement with four state attorneys general whose cases are not before Polster, sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Lawyers for the local governments say they...
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