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Purdue Pharma settlement still a long way off

By EVAN BEVINS, Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The revelation of a potential settlement agreement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma does not mean lawsuits by thousands of communities — including several in the Mid-Ohio Valley — are on the verge of ending.

Purdue is just one of the manufacturers and distributors facing lawsuits from states, counties, municipalities and Native American tribes, plus some unions and hospitals. And nothing about the tentative settlement is set in stone.

“We’re nowhere close yet,” said Marietta attorney Ethan Vessels, who is representing Washington, Noble and Meigs counties, as well as the City of Marietta. Talk of the settlement “should not be taken as a sign that the overall litigation, the combined case in Cleveland, is about to be settled.” …

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