Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., has agreed to pay $8.7 million to Oklahoma to settle claims that the company helped fuel the national opioid epidemic, wreaking economic damages across the state. As part of the settlement agreement, Endo will not market its opioids in the state nor will it pay to promote opioids in Oklahoma.
“The measures taken by Endo to alleviate the opioid epidemic are commendable,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement. “When they saw a problem, corporate executives proactively worked, internally and with stakeholders, to find a solution, not a cover-up, as we have discovered with numerous other companies during our yearslong investigation.”
By agreeing to resolve the case, Endo avoids meeting Oklahoma in court. In August, Johnson & Johnson tried to defend itself against similar claims in an Oklahoma state court, only to be hit with a $572 million verdict. The amount was later reduced to $465 million due to a calculation error.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and Teva Pharmaceuticals were scheduled to join J&J in the courtroom, but settled before the case went to trial for $270 million and $85 million, respectively.
This isn’t the first settlement Endo has reached to avoid going to trial in the opioid litigation. Last August, the company agreed to pay $10 million and donate about $1 million in drugs to get out of the bellwether trial in the opioid multidistrict litigation in Ohio.
Lawyers in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section are representing local governments holding opioid companies accountable for overdose deaths and economic damages in their communities caused by the opioid crisis. Attorneys are also investigating cases of serious injuries and illness – including addiction and overdose – related to opioid use and abuse, as well as cases of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in babies born to mothers addicted to opioids. For more information, contact Melissa Prickett or Liz Eiland.