A landmark trial stemming from the U.S. opioid epidemic is expected to begin on Monday after last-ditch talks to strike a multibillion-dollar settlement faltered on Friday, according to an attorney for local governments.
The thousands of local governments that sued drugmakers and distributors are "not on the same page" as state attorneys general who also sued the companies, said the attorney, Paul Hanly.
"Our clients aren't there yet," said Hanly, who represents the local governments that brought the bulk of the lawsuits.
U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster summoned executives from distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson and Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for Friday's talks.
Together, the companies will be defending themselves at Monday's trial over allegations they fueled an opioid addiction crisis that caused roughly 400,000 U.S. deaths from 1999 to 2017, according government statistics.