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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries constructing is seen in Jerusalem

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By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) – 4 drugmakers are set to face trial on Monday in a lawsuit by a number of giant counties in California which can be in search of greater than $50 billion over claims the businesses helped gas an opioid epidemic by deceptively advertising addictive painkillers.

The case towards Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:) Ltd, Endo Worldwide (NASDAQ:) PLC and AbbVie (NYSE:)’s Allergan (NYSE:) unit is without doubt one of the hundreds of lawsuits by states and native governments in search of to carry pharmaceutical firms answerable for the drug disaster.

Opioids have resulted within the overdose deaths of practically 500,000 folks from 1999 to 2019 in america, in line with U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

The populous Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange counties and the town of Oakland accuse the businesses of deceptively advertising painkillers in ways in which downplayed their addictive dangers. The drugmakers argue they acted appropriately and that they didn’t trigger the epidemic.

If Orange County Superior Courtroom Choose Peter Wilson finds the businesses liable following a non-jury trial, the counties say the businesses ought to should pay $50 billion to cowl the prices of abating the general public nuisance they created plus penalties.

Greater than 3,400 related lawsuits are pending nationally over the opioid epidemic. The one different case to go to trial within the opioid litigation resulted within the state of Oklahoma in 2019 successful a $465 million judgment towards J&J, which is interesting.

Different circumstances are slated to go to trial within the coming months, creating new strain for the businesses to achieve settlements.

The nation’s three largest drug distributors – McKesson Corp (NYSE:), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:) Corp and Cardinal Well being Inc (NYSE:) – and J&J have proposed paying a mixed $26 billion to resolve the circumstances towards them. The proposed deal has not been finalized.

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