Jury selection begins Wednesday for landmark federal trial on opioid epidemic

Arguments begin Monday
Updated: Oct. 16, 2019 at 10:31 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland is at the center first-of-its-kind trial to determine if six drug companies will be held responsible for the worst drug crisis in U.S. history that’s claimed over 400,000 lives.

Twelve jurors will be selected on Wednesday, with arguments starting on October 21.

Those six companies include: Teva Pharmaceuticals, McKesson, Cardinal Health(Columbus based), AmerisourceBergen, Walgreens and Henry Schein Medical.

Cuyahoga and Summit counties are the plaintiffs in this case and are seeking $7.2 billion dollars to pay for drug treatment, health care, emergency services and other services.

The counties also want another $1B in damages, which the jury could increase.

The lawsuit accuses the companies of fueling the country’s opioid crisis by aggressively marketing their treatments while downplaying addiction and overdose risks.

The drug distributors are accused of failing to detect, probe, or report suspicious orders.

The drug companies will argue there is no direct link between their actions and the problems that followed.

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