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Another One: Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $20.4 Million Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  October 4, 2019   |  

Major pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson this week announced it would pay $20.4 million to settle opioid lawsuits brought by two Ohio counties.

The settlement arrives just before a landmark federal trial combining thousands of opioid lawsuits begins in October.

Of the $20.4 million, Johnson & Johnson will pay $10 million directly to Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit county governments. Another $5 million will be used to reimburse the plaintiffs’ legal fees, and $5.4 million will be distributed to area nonprofits running opioid-related health and assistance programs.

The lawsuits brought by Cuyahoga and Summit counties alleged that Johnson & Johnson helped cause the opioid crisis by downplaying health and safety risks, engaging in deceptive marketing, and in some cases ignoring suspicious drug orders.

Johnson & Johnson will not acknowledge any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Opioid Lawsuit Losses Pile Up

This is not Johnson & Johnson’s first time facing accountability for its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.

In August, an Oklahoma judge ordered the company to pay $572 million to the State of Oklahoma after it faced similar allegations. The decision was historic ­— the first time an opioid manufacturer was held legally responsible for the epidemic.

Johnson & Johnson has denied any wrongdoing and has appealed the Oklahoma verdict.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Facing thousands of lawsuits consolidated in federal court, several other drug manufacturers have recently agreed to settlements.

Opioid Lawsuits Against Drug Manufacturers - Riddle & BrantleyPurdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, is currently negotiating a settlement that could be worth as much as $12 billion. The pharmaceutical giant recently filed for bankruptcy.

The federal trial, scheduled to begin October 21, consolidates lawsuits brought by more than 2,500 counties, municipalities and Native American tribes.

The lawsuits collectively allege that negligence by defendant pharmaceutical companies, drug distributors and pharmacies ultimately resulted in one of the worst public health crises in U.S. history.

More than 200,000 people have died of opioid-related overdoses in the United States in the last two decades alone.

Have you or a loved one been injured by prescription opioids?

For decades, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and drug distributors have allegedly acted negligently — engaging in deceptive marketing, downplaying health risks, and even turning a blind eye to suspicious opioid orders.

Opioid Lawsuit Lawyers - Riddle & BrantleyWe believe this alleged behavior is wrong — and our opioid lawsuit lawyers are committed to seeking justice for victims of these companies’ possible negligence.

With nearly 200 years of combined legal experience, Riddle & Brantley’s attorneys have been holding drug companies accountable for more than three decades.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to prescription opioids, you may qualify for an opioid lawsuit or claim.

For a FREE opioid lawsuit consultation and case review, please call 1-800-525-7111.

We will listen to you, advise you on your legal options, and if you decide to hire us, we will fight tirelessly for the justice and compensation you deserve.

The consultation is free, and there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation.

Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s talk.

You deserve justice — and we would love to help you if we can.

Justice Counts.