Two federal trials related to the nation’s opioid crisis have been delayed due to the pandemic, The Washington Post reports.
A trial involving pharmacy chains, scheduled for May 2021 in Cleveland, has been postponed until October. A trial scheduled for January in West Virginia has been postponed, with no rescheduled date. Joe Rice, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, estimates the pandemic has delayed a resolution of the legal dispute by at least a year.
More than 3,000 cities, towns, Native American tribes and other groups are suing the country’s largest drug makers, distributors and pharmacies over their role in the opioid crisis. Courts have been hesitant to conduct the trials virtually, largely because the scale of the litigation, which is thought to be the most complex in U.S. history.