USA: Multidistrict litigation will look into drug manufacturers & distributors' alleged contribution to opioid deaths
Author: Eric Heisig, cleveland.com (USA), Published on: 7 December 2017
" Cleveland federal judge to hear dozens of lawsuits filed against Big Pharma nationwide ", 5 Dec 2017
A longtime Cleveland federal judge will preside over  lawsuits filed by cities and counties across the country that accuse drug manufacturers and distributors of heavily contributing to the deadly opioid epidemic in which the country currently finds itself.
...Multidistrict litigation is a way for federal courts to have similar cases under one umbrella to speed up procedures such as discovery and pre-trial rulings. The cases can be settled under this process as well, though a case is sent back to its original court if it goes to trial.
Some high-profile cases have been handled with multidistrict litigation, including litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill and lawsuits against agrochemical company Monsanto over the risks of using the herbicide Roundup.
...While the list assigned to Polster does not include every case filed by cities, counties and states in the wake of the opioid crisis, additional federal cases with similar claims could be sent to him. Polster would also coordinate with judges and parties for cases filed in state courts.
...Ohio also "has a strong factual connection to this litigation," because of the thousands of opioid deaths the state has seen and the money it has paid to battle the epidemic, the order says...