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US judge delays setting trial date in WVa opioid lawsuit

January 28, 2020 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge in West Virginia has delayed setting a trial date in a lawsuit filed by the city of Huntington and Cabell County over the opioid crisis.

U.S. District Judge David A. Faber said at a status hearing Monday that he would wait until March in order to give attorneys for the defense and plaintiffs time to make written arguments, The Herald-Dispatch reported.

The lawsuit accuses drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson of fueling the local opioid epidemic. The case had been sent to a judge in Cleveland, who sorted out pretrial issues before sending it back to West Virginia.

Among the issues were whether a bench or jury trial should be held. Attorneys said Monday they remain far apart. Paul Farrell Jr., an attorney representing Cabell County, said he was ready for a trial to start in March. But McKesson attorney Mark Lynch said more time was needed.