For months, the judge overseeing national litigation over the opioids crisis urged all sides to reach a settlement that could end thousands of lawsuits filed by state and local governments.

But the chaotic developments this week in the case against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma underscore how difficult that goal is. By Thursday, half of the nation's state attorneys general said they would reject a tentative deal crafted by the other half, and many criticized the terms as grossly insufficient.

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