Nov 23, 2021 48 secs

CLEVELAND — Three retail pharmacy chains recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in two Ohio counties, a federal jury said Tuesday in a verdict that could set the tone for U.S.

The counties blamed pharmacies operated by CVS, Walgreens and Walmart for not stopping the flood of pills that caused hundreds of overdose deaths and cost each of the two counties about $1 billion, their attorney said.

How much the pharmacies must pay in damages will be decided in the spring by federal judge.

Lake and Trumbull counties were able to convince the jury that the pharmacies played an outsized role in creating a public nuisance in the way they dispensed pain medication into their communities.

Attorney Mark Lanier, who represented the counties in the lawsuit, said during the trial that the pharmacies were attempting to blame everyone but themselves.

The counties said pharmacies should be the last line of defense to prevent the pills from getting into the wrong hands.

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