(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson said on Saturday they will pay $ 263 million to resolve allegations that it has run an opioid epidemic in New York State and two of its largest counties.
The settlements remove the drug maker from a jury trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday on Long Island, where several major opioid producers and distributors are also being prosecuted.
Johnson & Johnson did not acknowledge liability or inaccuracies when settling with New York State and Nassau and Suffolk counties. The $ 229.9 million government settlement also requires J&J to stop selling painkillers nationwide.
"The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc across the country," New York Justice Minister Letitia James said in a statement. "Johnson & Johnson helped burn this fire."
She said her focus is still on "getting money into communities destroyed by opioids as quickly as possible."
J&J said the settlements were in line with its previous agreement to pay $ 5 billion to resolve opioid claims from states, cities, counties and tribal governments across the country.
J&J has also appealed to a Oklahoma judge from 201
Pharmaceutical manufacturers AbbVie Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and several distributors are among the defendants. The pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is also a defendant, even though it was only sued by the counties.
Walmart Inc., Rite Aid Corp. and CVS Health Corp. was separated from the trial during the selection of the jury. CVS has settled with Nassau and Suffolk counties. Settlement terms have not been revealed.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that nearly 500,000 people died from opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2019.