Lawyers pause plan to divide any national opioid settlement

American Press - State and local governments suing over the toll of a nationwide opioid crisis agree that companies in the drug industry should be held accountable, but they have differences on who should have the power to strike any settlement, and how it should work.

Those disputes had been mostly in the background until this week, when a majority of the nation's state attorneys general signed letters warning of problems with lawyers' plans for creating a mechanism to divide any settlement money among nearly 25,000 local and county governments — if a deal can be struck.

But at a hearing on Tuesday, any public feud was paused.

Lawyers for local governments, responding to those letters as well as objections from drug distributors and pharmacies and questions from local governments, asked if they could have two weeks to modify their plan.