Four Companies Reach Settlement On Opioids Lawsuit

Cleveland - A landmark opioid lawsuit that put all eyes on Northeast Ohio expected to begin in federal court Monday did not.

A $215 million settlement was reached with the "big three" distribution companies, which includes AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKessen.

Additionally, drug manufacturer, Teva, will be paying $20 million in cash -- $5 million of which will come before the end of the year. Teva also agreed to donate $25 million worth of anti-addiction medication.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, County Council President Dan Brady and County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley issued the following statement:

“Today, Cuyahoga County and Summit County reached an agreement to settle our lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, Cardinal Health and Teva Pharmaceuticals for $260 million in cash and product, bringing the total to over $326 million in opioid-related settlements to date.

“The impact of the opioid crisis on our communities has been devastating. Nationally, over the past few years, we have lost tens and tens of thousands of lives. Locally, we know the pain of losing fathers, mothers, children, neighbors and friends.

“While we cannot return loved ones who succumbed to this scourge to their families and communities, we can, and we must treat and save those thousands in our county who remain addicted and prevent the next person and family from experiencing the horrors of addiction.

“Our current systems are overwhelmed. With these funds we will save lives, get people back on track, and give families hope.

“Recently we released phase one of the opioid crisis mitigation plan which focused on prevention, treatment and education. Our plan is to build on this first phase and to create a national model—one that can lead the way in finally turning the tide on this epidemic.

“While we are pleased with today’s outcome, this is not the final result as the case remains pending against additional defendants. We will continue to seek compensation from the remaining defendants to hold them accountable for the widespread damage they have caused throughout our communities.”

This settlement only applies to Summit and Cuyahoga counties, which means there will be future negotiating for a global settlement with more than 2,100 cities, counties and states with the four remaining defendants, including Walgreens.

Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, is trying to settle opioid lawsuits through bankruptcy court.

Photo by: Megan Jelinger / Getty Images

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