21 States Reject Offer From Opioid Drugmakers to Settle Opioid Lawsuit
The battle between several states in the US affected by the current opioid epidemic and those accused of helping cause the opioid epidemic wages on. In February, a collective of opioid drug-makers offered to settle with the 21 states currently filing charges against them, for a sum of $18 billion. After very little deliberation, the offer has been rejected.
Three opioid distributors – AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp have been in talks with state attorneys since October. There were hopes that an overall settlement could be reached without the need for each individual state to pursue their own litigation claims. Johnson & Johnson have also been involved in discussions.
Many States Say That the $18 Billion Offer is Simply Not Enough
Most states are of the opinion that the offered $18 billion is simply not enough. They are holding out for a sum thought to be between $22 billion and $32 billion. Many states are also unhappy about proposals to pay the sum over a total of eighteen years. They instead prefer that the settled amount be paid over a much shorter period.
However, some states said they would be happy to settle at $18 million, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Among the states not willing to settle at $18 billion are Ohio, West Virginia, and Florida. It appears the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis are also those who want the largest settlement.
The Companies Involved Still Believe They Can Agree on a Fair Settlement
A spokesperson for the companies offering the $18 billion settlement claims the collective remains committed to a fair settlement. The collective also said that it was “disappointed to hear that some states do not currently understand the merits of the global settlement framework that the distributors have been discussing with the attorneys’ general over the past many months.”
It is estimated that at least 400,000 people have died in the US from opioids, prescribed either legally or illegally, since 1999. It is the aim of the lawsuit to compensate local communities who have been faced dealing with the crisis; which includes providing foster care for children born to opioid-reliant parents.
If you or someone close to you has been affected by opioids and you want to learn about our rapid detoxification program, please contact us at Advanced Rapid Detox. We can be contacted at (800) 603-1813 or by using our online contact form.