Where the national opioids lawsuit could be headed

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The federal opioids lawsuit pending in an Ohio district court likely will result in "hundreds of billions" of dollars flowing back to affected communities, according to Paul Hanly, one of the lawyers suing health care companies for their role in the epidemic.

Why it matters: The plaintiffs expect to win big money — through settlement or trial — that can then be used for drug treatment and recovery, although small towns and counties especially ravaged by the epidemic are worried money won't fairly flow down to them. But any outcome doesn't pose major financial risk to the companies in question, based on Wall Street's view of the case.