COVID-19 postpones next phase of Summit County federal opioid trial

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro speaks to the media outside the U.S. federal courthouse in Cleveland on Oct. 21, 2019. The nation's three dominant drug distributor and big drugmaker reached a $260 million dollar deal to settle a lawsuit related to the opioid crisis just as the first federal trial over the crisis was due to begin. David Dermer/AP

The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the next phase of a federal trial involving Summit and Cuyahoga counties that focuses on the pharmacy industry's role in the opioid epidemic.

According to the minutes of the proceedings from an Oct. 5 teleconference, the trial scheduled to begin Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland has been delayed indefinitely.

Defendants in the case include CVS, Medina-based Discount Drug Mart, HBC (which is part of Giant Eagle), Rite Aid and Walgreens.