Loading...

Opioid Maker and Distributors Settle State Lawsuits for $26 Billion

July 23, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
(Wikimedia Commons)

A coalition of state attorneys general reached a $26 billion settlement with opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and three of its distributors this week.

They blame the companies for a half-million deaths in the United States from overdoses and addictions to powerful painkillers.

“Our country’s opioid epidemic is a nationwide public health crisis that requires a nationwide solution,” the attorneys general, known as the Plaintiffs Executive Committee, said in a statement.

An estimated 69,000 people worldwide die of opioid overdoses each year and 15 million people have opioid addictions, according to a 2019 report in the American Journal of Therapeutics.

The settlement money would be allocated among programs to prevent and treat opioid addictions.

In addition, Johnson & Johnson agreed to halt manufacturing of the drug. The company already stopped selling prescription opioids last year.

The settlement with the attorneys general represented only one of about 4,000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson and its distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. The distributors were accused of ignoring suspiciously large orders of opioids they shipped around the country while trying to maximize their profits.

The drug distributors agreed to spread their $21 billion payments over 18 years. Johnson & Johnson said it would contribute $5 billion over nine years.

The $26 billion represents the amount of the settlement only if other government entities suing the companies agree to drop their lawsuits, thereby allowing them to share the money. 

Other states have 30 days to decide whether to accept the deal. Local governments have 150 days.

Johnson & Johnson continues to deny wrongdoing, saying in a statement the way it marketed opioids was “appropriate and responsible.” The medication has helped numerous patients cope with sometimes debilitating pain.

However, the feeling of euphoria it creates also is linked to addiction. The most addictions and deaths were blamed on the opioid that used the brand name fentanyl.

Johnson & Johnson’s statement said, “This settlement will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis in the United States.”

Attorneys general that helped to negotiate the settlement represented California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

Litigation

November 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. to Pay $130 Million to High School Shooting Survivors

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that it reached a settlement agreement with family members and survivors... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that it reached a settlement agreement with family members and survivors of the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people. Local media reports say the settlement amount is $130 million. A federal judge... Read More

November 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Intervenes Against Trump In Lawsuit Against Social Media Giants

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department intervened this week in a lawsuit former President Donald Trump filed against social media companies... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department intervened this week in a lawsuit former President Donald Trump filed against social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube. Trump accuses the companies of violating his First Amendment right to free speech by banning his postings after the Jan. 6... Read More

November 19, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Lawsuit Against Opioid Companies Blames COVID-19 for Aggravating Crisis

SEATTLE — Testimony this week during a civil trial in Seattle could explain why opioid deaths set a record of... Read More

SEATTLE — Testimony this week during a civil trial in Seattle could explain why opioid deaths set a record of more than 100,000 in a year by last April. The class action lawsuit seeks $95 billion in damages against pharmaceutical companies that distribute the powerful painkillers.... Read More

November 16, 2021
by Dan McCue
6th Circuit to Oversee Lawsuits of Employer Vaccination Mandate

WASHINGTON — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will preside over all litigation stemming from the Biden administration’s decision... Read More

WASHINGTON — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will preside over all litigation stemming from the Biden administration’s decision to require companies with at least 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced Tuesday.  The conservative-leaning... Read More

November 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court to Hear Worker’s Case to Clarify Arbitration Clause Rights

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a case by a fast-food worker who claims employers have no... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a case by a fast-food worker who claims employers have no right to force arbitration on employees after first contesting the workers' lawsuits in pre-trial proceedings. The Taco Bell worker who sued said her franchisee in Iowa... Read More

November 11, 2021
by Dan McCue
Dominion Voting Systems Files New Defamation Suit Against Fox News

GEORGETOWN, Del. — Dominion Voting Systems filed a new defamation lawsuit against Fox News Thursday, this one focusing on the... Read More

GEORGETOWN, Del. — Dominion Voting Systems filed a new defamation lawsuit against Fox News Thursday, this one focusing on the alleged roles of Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, Fox CEO and Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch in falsely accusing the company of rigging the... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version