Attorney general sues several pharmaceutical companies

CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, alleging they carried out “unfair and deceptive” marketing campaigns contributing to the opioid crisis.

Raoul said Wednesday that the opioid manufacturers and distributors “selfishly and irresponsibly sacrificed the health and safety of Illinois residents” for financial gain.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County names four pharmaceutical companies including Endo, Teva and Allergan, along with several distributors. Johnson & Johnson says the opioid crisis is a complex public health issue and is working to find ways to help. The other companies didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. Separately, Illinois was among several states that sued OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma earlier this year.

Wife of alderman to become next chief justice of state’s high court

CHICAGO — The wife of a powerful Chicago alderman facing federal corruption allegations will become the Illinois Supreme Court’s next chief justice.

The state’s highest court selected Anne Burke earlier this week. The 13-year veteran of the court will start her three-year term Oct. 26.

A Tuesday court statement said she will be the third female chief justice on the 200-year-old court, following current Justice Rita Garman and late Justice Mary Ann McMorrow. She will succeed Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier.

Burke’s husband, Ed Burke, has been on the Chicago’s City Council for 50 years. He was charged this year with trying to extort executives seeking city remodeling permits. He has pleaded not guilty.

Judge says that Hastert victim breached hush-money deal

CHICAGO — A former student who Dennis Hastert sexually abused decades ago breached an unwritten $3.5 million hush-money agreement with the former U.S. House speaker by telling family members and a friend about it, an Illinois judge ruled this week.

But Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer declined to enter an immediate judgment in favor of either Hastert or the now-adult victim who sued the Illinois Republican, saying decisive questions in the civil case can only be answered at a trial.

Hastert’s victim, referred to only as James Doe in filings, brought the breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2016 in a bid to force Hastert to pay the unpaid balance of the hush money, nearly $2 million. Hastert’s lawyers said the 2010 deal was void after Doe spoke about it to others.

Pilmer’s ruling — a partial victory for both sides — could put pressure on both Doe and Hastert to settle before the case gets to trial.

The Associated Press

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