COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s high court has appointed a single judge to handle any lawsuits related to opioids in the state system.
The state Supreme Court on Thursday assigned Circuit Court Judge Perry Gravely to the task. The Pickens judge has been on the circuit bench since 2015.
Several counties have sued drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and physicians amid the opioid epidemic, which Gov. Henry McMaster declared a public health emergency last year. McMaster has signed executive orders requiring health officials to place a five-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions for acute and post-operative pain management.
State officials said earlier this month that South Carolina’s opioid deaths have been on the rise since 2014, when there were 508 in the state. Last year, South Carolina had 748 opioid deaths.
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