Kentucky involved in opiate litigation talks

Graphic Courtesy: MGN Online

CLEVELAND, Oh (WTVQ) – Kentucky will be represented during talks on a possible settlement involving the country’s opioid epidemic.

More than 250 lawsuits against drugmakers and drug distributors have been consolidated in the Cleveland courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster.

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The lawsuits were filed in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington and West Virginia.

On Wednesday, Polster planned to bring together lawyers for municipal and state governments, drugmakers, drug distributors and others to try and broker a settlement.

Attorney General Andy Beshear will be representing Kentucky at the settlement talks.

In a statement, Beshear said: “Judge Polster wants to hear from my office on how pharmaceutical companies, many who will be in his courtroom today, have harmed our families and devastated our communities. Because most every Kentuckian has lost a friend or family member, I want to ensure we have a seat at the table and a firm voice at these talks to hold these companies accountable.”

The settlement talks come as the nation deals with the most widespread and deadliest drug crisises in the nation’s history.

In 2016, there were 63,600 overdose drug deaths in the U.S.

It’s estimated there are four fatal overdose deaths in Kentucky every day.