MDLs Are Redefining The US Legal Landscape

Law360 (October 30, 2019, 5:48 PM EDT) -- On Oct. 21, the nation saw the 11th-hour-settlement of a key bellwether case in the national prescription opiate multidistrict litigation.[1] Four of the nation’s largest drug companies — AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. — agreed to a collective $260 million settlement in cash and donated pharmaceuticals to Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio.

This MDL has been unique in the landscape of civil federal litigation. Settlement amounts aside, the parties were unusual. The plaintiffs were not individuals who were allegedly overprescribed opiates, but rather, local governments, Native American tribes and third-party payors.

The defendants were not...

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