Judge delays setting trial date in opioid lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge in West Virginia has delayed setting a trial date in a lawsuit filed by the city of Huntington and Cabell County over the opioid crisis.

U.S. District Judge David A. Faber said at a status hearing Monday that he would wait until March in order to give attorneys for the defense and plaintiffs time to make written arguments.

The lawsuit accuses drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson of fueling the local opioid epidemic. The case had been sent to a judge in Cleveland, who sorted out pretrial issues before sending it back to West Virginia.

Among the issues were whether a bench or jury trial should be held. Attorneys said Monday they remain far apart. Paul Farrell Jr., an attorney representing Cabell County, said he was ready for a trial to start in March. But McKesson attorney Mark Lynch said more time was needed.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.