OxyContin pills. Photo: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, was willing to pay handsomely to avoid a high-profile, televised trial over the company's role in the opioid crisis.

The big question: How much more is Purdue willing to pay to settle the 1,600 other lawsuits that have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio?

  • "It’s got to set off a feeding frenzy," University of Georgia law professor Elizabeth Burch said. "There’s blood in the water now."

Driving the news: Purdue reached a $270 million settlement yesterday with Oklahoma, where the first major trial over the opioid epidemic is set to begin in May.

Details, via the Wall Street Journal:

  • Purdue will pay Oklahoma just shy of $200 million, most of it to fund a new addiction treatment center. Members of the Sackler family, which founded and controlled Purdue during its OxyContin heyday, will contribute another $75 million.

What we're watching: Purdue has said it's considering declaring bankruptcy, which would likely limit plaintiffs' ability to collect damages they might win at trial.

  • That possibility "exerted powerful leverage at the bargaining table in Oklahoma," The New York Times reports, and could jump-start settlement talks in the larger, consolidated case as well.
  • Purdue's settlement doesn't affect the other companies Oklahoma is pursuing, including Johnson & Johnson.

Go deeper: Huge national opioids lawsuit moves forward

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections rose over the past week in half the country.

Why it matters: The U.S. remains largely unable or unwilling to control the spread of the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.