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For the first time, drug makers won a court victory in the massive litigation over the opioid epidemic, defeating local governments in California that claimed the companies created a public health crisis through misleading marketing of the prescription painkillers.

In a tentative decision on Monday, Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson rejected arguments that Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), AbbVie (ABBV), and Endo International (ENDP) had deceived the public about the addictive risks of the opioids, promoted them for unintended uses, and encouraged overprescribing by physicians.

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