States and Cities Close to Interim $26 Billion Deal on Opioid Cases

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The distributors were accused by the plaintiffs of long turning a blind eye to large orders. Collectively, companies will pay $21 billion in 18 payments over 17 years. Fees for attorneys who pursue and finance costly litigation for years will be deducted from the total figure and are expected to be paid out faster than some addiction treatment funds. Distributors also admitted that they had done nothing wrong and noted that, like Johnson & Johnson, they are participants in the supply chain for federally approved and monitored drugs.

The deal will force senior executives among distributors to play an active role in creating programs to monitor red-flag sales.

In exchange for payments, companies demand what’s known as “global peace” – an agreement for plaintiffs to drop their litigation swords entirely. Proposals will be voted on by representatives for the 3,022 cases pending before Dan A. Polster, a federal judge in Cleveland, and state attorneys general who have the power to pursue defendants in state courts. companies were also sued.

The negotiations are led by attorneys for the states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, among others, in addition to local governments.

Distributors and several manufacturers are being prosecuted in a lawsuit filed by the state of New York and its two counties. According to people familiar with the negotiations, the $26 billion broad deal includes a $1 billion settlement negotiated with New York for the distributors’ release from this lawsuit.

But the agreement doesn’t conclude the multi-pronged nationwide opioid litigation, with the first lawsuits filed in 2014. Purdue Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt, who is on trial in bankruptcy court, and Teva and Allergan, who is on trial. Lawsuits against drug chains like CVS Health, Walgreens, and Walmart are even more on the podium.

But compared to October 2019, when four attorneys general announced the first iteration of the brokerage plan, the latest proposal includes a clearer allocation structure, specifically to provide more money for attorneys and settlement money to states and territories.

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