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"Unorthodox" settlement proposed in nationwide lawsuit over opioid crisis

A bottle of pills, spilling out onto a table
Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Lawyers involved in the enormous, nationwide lawsuit against opioid manufacturers have proposed a "novel" settlement arrangement, the New York Times reports. Every local and county government in the country would be part of it — not just the 1,650 governments that are currently suing.

Why it matters: This structure was designed to prod drug companies "to negotiate a settlement in earnest, something they have largely resisted," according to the Times. Settling with all these cities now would stave off future lawsuits from those local governments. But states and individuals could still bring their own suits.

Go deeper: Opioid addiction is drastically undertreated