Who’s to blame for the nation’s opioid crisis? Massive trial may answer that question

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Demonstrators hold pictures of loved ones lost to opioids during a protest at Purdue Pharma’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn., last year.(Jessica Hill / Associated Press)

For the families of the roughly 400,000 Americans who have died of opioid drug overdoses since 1999, a legal drama scheduled to unfold in an Ohio courtroom next month may feel like a true shot at justice.

After downplaying the risks of dangerous and highly addictive prescription narcotics, and of profiting from their spiraling misuse, the purveyors of prescription painkillers could be forced to reckon with the consequences of their actions.

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