(Reuters) – Attorneys for counties and municipalities suing drug producers and distributors over their alleged roles within the U.S. opioid epidemic on Friday pitched a novel plan that will carry all 24,500 communities nationally into their negotiations for billions of {dollars} in settlements.

FILE PHOTO: A bottle of prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg tablets, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. sit on a counter at a neighborhood pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Picture – RC1189184520

The proposal got here in a movement filed in federal court docket in Cleveland, Ohio, the place 1,850 lawsuits largely by native governments are pending…

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