Yesterday Johnson & Johnson settled two Ohio county claims prior to trial and will be paying $20.4 million. The company was accused of being a major contributor to the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic.
With this payment, the company would then be removed from the federal trial against multiple manufacturers and distributors that will begin this October.
According to HuffPost, J&J will pay $10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, reimburse $5 million of their legal and other expenses and provide $5.4 million to non-profit organizations that run opioid-related programs in the counties.
Johnson & Johnson is one of four companies that have settled outside of court. “The settlement allows the company to avoid the resource demands and uncertainty of a trial as it continues to seek meaningful progress in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. The company recognizes the opioid crisis is a complex public health challenge and is working collaboratively to help communities and people in need,” the company stated.
Johnson & Johnson became the fifth drugmaker to avoid going to trial in the first federal opioids case, announcing that it had reached a $20.4 million agreement to settle claims raised by 2 Ohio counties https://t.co/s32Z4AMfFI— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 2, 2019
With over 400,000 opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. from 1999 to 2017, it is time for those drug companies that have benefited from the crisis need to step up and contribute to its resolution.