$26 Billion Settlement Announced Over Opioids

Numerous states, including California, reached a settlement with four healthcare giants over claims that the companies were at least partially responsible for an opioid overdose epidemic.  Over the past 20 years, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from opioid overdose, including a record of 93,000 people last year.  Three pharmaceutical distributors: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation, would pay $21 billion over 18 years, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson would pay $5 billion over nine years under the maximum payout guidelines of the settlement.

Johnson & Johnson has been at the center of numerous product liability lawsuits recently, including claims against talc baby powder resulting in billions of dollars in damages.  The settlement and jury amounts appear to be significant, but they still pale in comparison to the company’s revenue and profits.  Johnson & Johnson stopped selling opioid medications last year.

The settlement itself is contingent on enough state and local governments signing on to it.  The overall settlement amount would be reduced for every state or local government entity that does not agree to the settlement.  According to reporting, numerous states are reluctant to sign on because they fear they may not receive enough resources to address the opioid epidemic.  Recovery money from the settlement might be used for addiction treatment, recovery programs, counseling services, rehabilitation, and even needle exchanges.

See the full news story here.

Over 3,000 lawsuits have been filed in relation to the opioid epidemic so far targeting numerous pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.  Just like every other consumer product, the makers of every pharmaceutical drug is responsible for the safety of its product.  When a company designs, manufacturers, or markets a dangerous product that results in injury, consumers and entities representing consumers can pursue legal damages under product liability law.  If you have been injured by a dangerous or recalled product, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you pursue financial recovery for medical bills and pain and suffering.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free legal consultation.

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