The COVID-19 pandemic has forced judges to postpone upcoming trials over another public health problem: the opioid crisis.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge David Faber postponed an Oct. 19 opioid trial in Charleston, West Virginia, due to concerns about the coronavirus. His order, which rescheduled the start date to Jan. 4, was the latest to postpone trials alleging pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies caused widespread addictions and deaths tied to opioids, which are prescription painkillers. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing 2,900 cases in multidistrict litigation in Cleveland, Ohio, postponed a Nov. 9 jury trial indefinitely due to COVID-19.

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