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Judge Says He Miscalculated Award by $107M in Oklahoma Opioid Case

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Tuesday acknowledged making a nearly $107 million miscalculation in determining how much drug maker Johnson & Johnson must pay the state to help address the state’s opioid crisis. Following a hearing in Cleveland County, District Judge Thad Balkman acknowledged making the error in his August judgment in… Read More

Gavel leaning against a row of law books

Jury Selection Begins in Opioid Trial Despite Delay Request

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Jury selection began Wednesday in the first federal trial over the opioid epidemic despite a last-minute request from lawyers to delay it because of news reports on a settlement offer. Two Ohio counties claim drug companies that made, distributed and sold prescription painkillers engaged in a deadly conspiracy that has inflicted massive… Read More

Cars pass Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Judge Will Halt Lawsuits Against Purdue Pharma, Its Owners For 6 Months

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A judge will halt lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and its owners for six months in hopes of finalizing a settlement over the OxyContin maker’s role in the national opioid crisis, he said Friday. In a hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain strongly brushed aside the argument from a group of state attorneys general that lawsuits… Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost

Appeals Court Rejects Ohio AG’s Attempt To Delay Opioid Trial

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A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has rejected Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s request to delay the October 21 start for the huge opioid trial in federal court in Cleveland. Three judges from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals declined the request from Yost and a dozen other attorneys general and the US Chamber of Commerce. They had… Read More

A gavel in front of some legal books

Arraignment Scheduled Tuesday for Doc in Prescription Opioid Takedown

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CINCINNATI, Ohio — One of four doctors charged in a federal operation alleging the overprescribing opioid painkillers through “pill mill” clinics in  is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. Dr. Thomas Romano, 69, of Wheeling, West Virginia, faces 20 counts of diversion of controlled substances for his alleged participation in the unlawful prescription of controlled substances outside… Read More

A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly

Coroner Issues Alert After 10 Fatal Overdoses in 26 Hours

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio county coroner has issued an alert after 10 overdose deaths were reported within 26 hours. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office posted on Facebook on Sunday, calling the number of overdoses “unusually high” for that period. Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the county coroner, says residents with family or friends at risk… Read More

Judge Dan Polster in his office

Judge in Opioid Litigation Won’t Remove Himself from Case

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The federal judge in Cleveland overseeing national opioid litigation denied the requests Thursday of several drug companies that he remove himself from the case. U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster said in his order that he has done nothing over the past two years to favor cities and counties seeking money… Read More

A bottle of OxyContin with pills scattered around

Feds Charge Multiple Doctors for Overprescribing Opioids

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say they’ve charged multiple medical professionals for overprescribing millions of opioids across Appalachia. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski on Tuesday announced charges against 13 people in West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee. Eleven of those charged are doctors. Benczkowski says the charges involve more than 17 million illegally prescribed… Read More

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall

Born Exposed: Schools Seek To Help Children Exposed To Drugs In The Womb

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Students line up single file behind teachers at West Elementary in Athens, Ohio, for. the walk downhill from the brick building to board buses or meet up with the person taking them home. Some talk about their day, others run off to the playground and some discuss the latest Pokémon movie. A chant for the… Read More

A bottle of OxyContin with pills scattered around

Purdue Pharma Asks Judge to Stop Lawsuits Against Sacklers

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma on Wednesday asked a bankruptcy court judge to halt all lawsuits against the company and its former directors, including members of the Sackler family, which owns the company. The request is a standard ask for a company that’s filed for bankruptcy , as Purdue did this week in an effort to settle some… Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost

Yost: Purdue Settlement Money Should be Spent Locally

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says any money the state receives from a settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should be spent at the local level. Yost, a Republican, went “on the record” with his position at an unrelated news conference Wednesday. He said he doesn’t want Ohio’s efforts to exercise… Read More

In this Aug. 17, 2018 file photo, family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses protest outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

‘Blood Money?’ Purdue Settlement Would Rely on Opioid Sales

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The tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma would raise money to help clean up the opioid mess by … selling more OxyContin. That would amount to blood money, in the opinion of some critics. And it’s one reason two dozen states have rejected the deal. “The settlement agreement basically requires the settlement payments… Read More

A bottle of OxyContin with pills scattered around

Chaotic Talks Show Challenge of Reaching Opioid Settlement

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For months, the judge overseeing national litigation over the opioids crisis urged all sides to reach a settlement that could end thousands of lawsuits filed by state and local governments. But the chaotic developments this week in the case against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma underscore how difficult that goal is. By Thursday, half of the… Read More

A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly

Health Officials Say Ohio Drug Overdoses Drop by 22% in 2018

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The number of fatal drug overdoses in Ohio declined for the first time since 2009, according to state health officials, a milestone in the state’s ongoing battle with a deadly addictions epidemic. Preliminary figures from the Ohio Department of Health show the number of overdoses dropped more than 22% last year…. Read More

A statue of John Marshall on the campus of Marshall University

University, Federal Agency Partner to Fight Opioid Crisis

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – A university in West Virginia will work with the investigative division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fight the opioid crisis. The Herald-Dispatch reports Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced Wednesday the partnership between Marshall University and Homeland Security Investigations. Sen. Capito says the school in Huntington will receive more than… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse

Bill Would Give State Authority Over Local Lawsuits Against Drug Makers

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The family behind the maker of one of the main drugs blamed for the nation’s opioid crisis has reportedly offered $12 billion to settle a huge federal case in Cleveland. There are around 100 different lawsuits filed by Ohio cities and counties that are part of that case. And now there’s a bill in the works that would give the state authority over… Read More

Prize winners and other observers look on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio, as another $2.4 million is awarded through the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge.

Ohio Awards Final Prizes in Opioid Science Challenge

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio has awarded the final round of prizes in its global technology challenge seeking scientific breakthroughs to address the U.S. opioid crisis. Four winners were announced Tuesday, with each receiving $1 million as part of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge. Winning ideas included “Brave Button,” an in-home device from Vancouver, Canada-based… Read More

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter speaks to the media at a news conference following closing arguments in Oklahoma's ongoing opioid drug lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson Monday, July 15, 2019, in Norman, Okla.

Oklahoma Judge Rules Against Drugmaker in Opioid Lawsuit, Orders $572M Payment

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Monday found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to clean up the problem. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s ruling followed the first state opioid case to make it to trial and could… Read More

In this Aug. 17, 2018 file photo, family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses protest outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Court Lets Purdue Pharma Court Records be Made Public

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The secret testimony from former Purdue Pharma President Richard Sackler and other records in a Kentucky opioids lawsuit must be made public after the state Supreme Court declined to review an earlier ruling. The court record was sealed in 2015 as part of a $24 million settlement between Purdue and the… Read More