Federal opioid trial begins Monday in Cleveland; crisis blamed for 400,000 deaths

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Opening arguments are set to begin Monday in Cleveland in a federal trial against Teva Pharmaceuticals, four distributors and drug store chain Walgreens.

Cuyahoga and Summit counties filed suit against them, saying their practices contributed to the opioid epidemic.

The counties want money to help them fight the epidemic, while families who lost loved ones to overdoses are seeking justice.

The companies say they followed the law and aren’t to blame for the crisis.

State, local and tribal governments plus hospitals and others have filed a total of more than 2,600 lawsuits against drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies.

The opioid crisis is linked to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000.

The case heard in Cleveland is expected to indicate how the other cases might play out.

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