Opioid companies say lawyers' fee demand threatens settlement talks


(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and other drug companies facing thousands of lawsuits over their role in the opioid epidemic have warned that settlement talks will be “severely” jeopardized if plaintiffs’ lawyers are allowed to assess a fee payment worth billions of dollars.

Major distributors such as McKesson Corp (MCK.N) and drugmakers including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) joined in the request that U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio, reject a request by a committee of plaintiffs’ lawyers for a 7% fee assessed against any settlements. They filed their brief late Wednesday.