JULIE CARR SMYTH and GEOFF MULVIHILL
CLEVELAND (AP) — The nation's three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties over the deadly havoc wreaked by opioids, just hours before the first federal trial over the crisis was about to begin Monday.
The settlement means the closely watched trial will not move forward now.
The trial involved only two counties — Cleveland's Cuyahoga County and Akron's Summit County — but was seen as an important test case that could gauge the strength of the opposing sides' arguments and prod them toward a nationwide settlement.
Across the country, the drug industry is facing more than 2,600 lawsuits brought by state and local governments seeking to hold it accountable for th