Questions Swirl Around Opioid MDL Bellwether Trial

Law360 (October 8, 2019, 9:56 PM EDT) -- A highly anticipated bellwether trial in the opioid multidistrict litigation is increasingly shrouded in uncertainty amid a flurry of settlements with drugmakers and aggressive maneuvers by drug distributors to avoid going before a jury.

A quintet of settlements — a vast deal with Purdue Pharma LP and four deals limited to the bellwether's two combined cases — have eliminated all but one drugmaker defendant from the trial, which is set to start Oct. 21 in Cleveland federal court.

The bellwether deals could suggest that drugmakers aren't interested in taking numerous cases to trial over the course of several years, which sometimes...

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