In an unusual move, the lawyers who represent cities and counties suing drug makers and distributors for fueling the opioid crisis made a novel bid to bring all 24,500 communities across the U.S. into negotiations in hopes of reaching a faster and more comprehensive settlement.

The proposal was made in a motion late last week in federal court in Cleveland, where approximately 1,600 lawsuits have been filed by local governments against Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA), McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH), and AmerisourceBergen (ABC). The cases have been consolidated in what is known as a multi-district litigation, or MDL, and the proposal would include a settlement allocation map, which is not yet complete.

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