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A federal court ruling has cleared the way for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle thousands of legal claims over the toll of opioids. A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday overturned a lower court’s 2021 ruling that found bankruptcy courts did not have the authority to protect members of the Sackler family who own the company and who have not filed for bankruptcy protection from lawsuits. The concept is at the heart of Purdue’s plan to settle thousands of lawsuits in a deal that would include $5.5 billion to $6 billion from Sackler family members.

A West Virginia man will pay $1,000 and serve a year on probation for illegal voting during the 2020 election. Richard Fox was sentenced last week in Fayette County Circuit Court for casting two mail-in ballots – one in West Virginia and one in Florida – during Nov. 3, 2020, election. A news release from the office of Secretary of State Mac Warner did not include any information about who Fox voted for. In a statement, Warner said Fox’s actions not only violated the law, but “broke the trust of our citizens, and directly harmed the integrity of every race on his ballot.”

A logging company hoping to build a pesticide facility in West Virginia has withdrawn an application for an air permit following vehement opposition from residents. In a letter Wednesday to state regulators, Allegheny Wood Products cited a further review of its business needs as the reason for the application’s withdrawal. The company wanted to construct a fumigation facility in Hardy County to treat logs set to be shipped overseas. The air permit would have let the facility emit up to nearly 10 tons of methyl bromide into the atmosphere each year. Residents say the facility would have threatened their health and the environment.

A Pennsylvania doctor who pleaded guilty in a pain pill prescription scheme in West Virginia has been sentenced to six months in prison. Dr. Brian Gullett also was fined $5,000 and surrendered his medical license. Gullett previously admitting giving a customer multiple oxycodone prescriptions even though the customer's chart didn't support the prescriptions. He was indicted in 2018 along with the owners, managers and other physicians and operators of the Hope Clinic. The clinic had offices in Virginia and West Virginia, which has by far the nation's highest drug overdose death rate. Five other physicians have pleaded guilty in the scheme. The remaining defendants are awaiting trial.

The Democratic party’s U.S. Senate campaign arm is asking a Charleston-based judge to order the release of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's work calendar. The Republican governor announced last month that he's running to take over the seat held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee filed a lawsuit against Justice’s office in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The committee says Justice's office refused in April a public records request for his calendar. For two terms, Justice has been dogged by criticism that he’s rarely at the Statehouse. His office has been reticent to share his calendar, saying it isn’t a true reflection of his work schedule.