Number of lawsuits challenging opioid industry still growing

FILE - This Jan. 11, 2018 file photo shows judge Dan Polster in his office in Cleveland. Polster has called the opioid addiction epidemic “100 percent man-made” and asserted that other branches of government have “punted” on solving it. Polster has made clear that he wants to use the cases before him as a way to forge a solution to the opioid crisis _ not just a legal resolution. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file)

CLEVELAND — The number of lawsuits continues to grow in a combined federal challenge of drug companies' role in the opioid crisis.

Judge Dan Polster is overseeing the consolidated lawsuits in a case in federal court in Cleveland.

The complaints allege drug manufacturers and drug distributors bear responsibility for the deadly overdose epidemic and for not doing enough to stop it.

Polster is trying to hammer out a settlement between the industry and communities that have filed complaints.

Polster allowed 12 more lawsuits into the case on Tuesday, bringing the total to more than 320.

The new cases include lawsuits brought by the city of Lebanon, Ohio; Marion County, Alabama; Candler County, Georgia; Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH'-gah) County, New York; and Skagit County in Washington state.

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