Drug companies win in California opioid crisis lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Top drug manufacturers have won a round in a California lawsuit that blamed them for the opioid crisis and sought billions of dollars to cover the costs of dealing with it. A judge in Orange County made a tentative ruling Monday that said local governments hadn’t proven that Johnson & Johnson used deceptive marketing to inflate prescriptions of their painkillers, leading to a public nuisance. Both sides have acknowledged that there is an opioid-abuse epidemic that has claimed many lives. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara counties and the city of Oakland, which plan to appeal.