Tennessee judge sets July damages trial in opioid case

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FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of prescription oxycodone pills in New York. U.S. health officials are again warning doctors against abandoning chronic pain patients by abruptly stopping their opioid prescriptions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services instead urged doctors Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, to share such decisions with patients. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has set a July 26 start for a trial to decide damages against an opioid manufacturer in a lawsuit over the company’s role in the epidemic.

A Sullivan County Circuit Court judge set the date Thursday after entering a default judgment against Endo Pharmaceutical earlier this week before a trial was held over the company’s liability.

The judge said it was necessary because of a “coordinated strategy” by Endo and its attorneys to delay proceedings, deprive plaintiffs of information and interfere with the administration of justice.

The company says it will appeal. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs include a child born addicted to opioids. They are seeking $2.4 billion.

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