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State News

Judge issues gag order in opioid lawsuit settlement talks

A federal judge has ordered attorneys and others to keep quiet about settlement discussions involving hundreds of lawsuits filed over the country's opioid epidemic

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CLEVELAND — A federal judge in Ohio has ordered attorneys and others to keep quiet about settlement discussions involving hundreds of lawsuits filed over the country’s opioid epidemic.

Judge Dan Polster says parties to the lawsuits can only reveal whether meetings have happened or will happen.

Polster issued a gag order Tuesday that bans discussion of the contents of settlement discussions along with assessments of the talks or commentary on them.

Polster is overseeing more than 300 lawsuits filed by cities and counties against pharmaceutical companies and distributors. The complaints allege the companies bear responsibility for the epidemic and for not doing enough to stop it.

Six state attorneys general, other state representatives and dozens of attorneys from both sides met last week in a closed-door meeting in Polster’s Cleveland courtroom.



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