Lawyers representing the cities and counties suing drug companies over their role in the opioid crisis are urging a federal judge not to delay the litigation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reports.
On Wednesday, the lawyers said in a filing in federal court in Cleveland that pharmacy companies including CVS Health, Walmart and Boots Alliance hope to use the pandemic as an excuse to delay discovery deadlines and a November 9 trial by 60 days.
More than 2,500 lawsuits over the opioid crisis filed by local governments against drug companies, distributors and pharmacies have been combined into one federal case. It is being overseen in the Northern District of Ohio.
Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.