Other state attorneys general involved in announcing the settlement included Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Letitia James of New York and Herbert Slatery of Tennessee.
“The numerous companies that manufactured and distributed opioids across the nation did so without regard to life or even the national crisis they were helping to fuel,” James said in a statement. “Today, we are holding these companies accountable and infusing tens of billions of dollars into communities across the nation, while taking significant steps to hold these companies accountable.”
The companies said the comprehensive agreement will resolve a substantial portion of their liability from state and local lawsuits.
“This settlement will directly support state and local efforts to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid crisis in the United States,” Michael Ullmann, J&J’s general counsel, said in an emailed statement.
AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health said their share of the total will be $6.4 billion each, while McKesson’s share would be $7.9 billion. In a statement, they said the payments will be made over 18 years.
While the distributors said in a joint statement they “strongly dispute the allegations made in these lawsuits,” the proposed deal and process for settlements “are important steps toward achieving broad resolution of governmental opioid claims and delivering meaningful relief to communities across the United States. The companies remain deeply concerned about the impact the opioid epidemic is having on individuals, families, and communities across the nation and are committed to being part of the solution.”