Opioid Settlement Could Set Precedent for California Cases

November 6, 2019

Source: KBCX FM Radio

Following a major settlement in Ohio this week, California counties could be a step closer to getting the drug industry to pay for damages associated with the opioid epidemic.

The nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker reached an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement over the toll of the opioids in two Ohio counties, averting what would have been the first federal trial over the crisis.

The trial involved only two counties — Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County and Akron’s Summit County — but was seen as an important test case that could gauge the strength of the opposing sides’ arguments and prod them toward a nationwide settlement. The agreement announced Monday calls for the distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson to pay a combined $215 million, said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Cuyahoga County.

“People can’t lose sight of the fact that the counties got a very good deal for themselves, but we also set an important national benchmark for the others,” Shkolnik said.

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