AP NEWS

Oklahoma’s top court hearing request to delay opioid lawsuit

March 20, 2019
FILE--Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is pictured during an interview in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected drugmakers' request to immediately postpone the May start of a trial in a lawsuit that accuses the companies of fueling the state's opioid epidemic. The court instead set a March 20 hearing on whether to grant a 100-day postponement of the civil trial set to start May 28 in Cleveland County. A judge there had previously denied the request. Hunter sued 13 opioid manufacturers in 2017, alleging they fraudulently engaged in marketing campaigns that led to thousands of overdose addictions and deaths. Several states have filed similar lawsuits, but Oklahoma's is expected to be the first to go to trial. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Drugmakers are trying to persuade Oklahoma’s top court to postpone the trial in the state’s lawsuit accusing them of fueling the opioid epidemic.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday, a week after rejecting drugmakers’ request to immediately postpone the scheduled May 28 start.

A ruling was not anticipated Wednesday. The judges are expected to deliberate Monday behind closed doors and issue a ruling later.

The 2017 lawsuit filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accuses 13 opioid manufacturers of running fraudulent marketing campaigns that led to thousands of overdose addictions and deaths.

Several states have filed similar lawsuits, but Oklahoma’s is expected to be the first to go to trial.

Drugmakers say they need more time to prepare and want the trial postponed by 100 days.