Judge Daniel Polster, appointed to oversee the Opioid litigation, selected three lawsuits to face trial in March 2019 against the drug manufacturers and distributors named in the litigation. This decision was made to support his efforts for settlement by scheduling an aggressive bellwether schedule. The three cases selected are from the cities and counties that are filing cases against the drug companies.
On December 5, 2017, Opioid MDL: 2804 was established by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio.
The main defendants named in the litigation are opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Endo International Plc and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp.
Plaintiffs include cities, counties, and states alleging that the manufacturers of prescription opioid medications overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of the use of their opioids and aggressively marketed (directly and through key opinion leaders) these drugs to physicians; and the distributors failed to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse, and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates.