The attorneys general of four states are proposing a $48 billion deal to settle lawsuit against major drug makers and distributors designed to fund a plan to compensate communities for overdose deaths and economic damages caused by the opioid epidemic, Law360 reported.
The global deal was proposed by the attorneys general of Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Tennessee, and would settle claims against Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Corp., for allegedly creating and fueling the opioid crisis.
According to the proposal, Teva would donate $23 billion worth of addiction-treatment drugs and $250 million in cash over 10 years. Johnson & Johnson would pay $4 billion over two or three years. The distributors would pay $18 billion over 18 years, plus provide an additional $3 billion worth of distribution and monitoring services over the next 10 years.
Teva and Johnson & Johnson would also “abstain from marketing any opioid products,” and the distributors would “take aggressive internal action” to quell the volume of their opioid distribution.
The proposed deal would settle thousands of claims brought by states, cities and counties in the multidistrict litigation, but not all plaintiffs are in favor of the plan. Some say that the payments are too small compared to the profits they have made, and in some cases the payments are spread over too many years.
Over the weekend, a last minute settlement was reached between the drug companies and two Ohio counties, averting the first bellwether trial in the opioid multidistrict litigation.
Beasley Allen has an Opioid Litigation Team that includes these lawyers: Rhon Jones, Parker Miller, Ryan Kral, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton, Roger Smith and Jeff Price. This team represents the State of Alabama, the State of Georgia, and numerous local governments, as well as other entities in multidistrict litigation.