Judge postpones lawsuit over opioid prescriptions

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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) – A judge has postponed a lawsuit filed by residents of West Virginia and Kentucky that accuses pharmacies and doctors of negligently prescribing pain medication.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that West Virginia Judge Joseph Reeder issued an order last week canceling a trial scheduled to start March 9.

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Reeder ruled the residents must wait until after federal prosecutors conclude a criminal case against the owner of one pharmacy that was sued.

Reeder’s order said the pharmacist’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination might be jeopardized if the lawsuit preceded the criminal trial, so the federal case should have priority.