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On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the National Prescription Opiate Litigation MDL Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, several State Attorneys General, and four major defendants announced agreement on terms of proposed nationwide settlements to resolve all Opioids litigation brought by states and local political subdivisions against the three largest pharmaceutical distributors: McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen (“Distributors”), and manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its parent company Johnson & Johnson (collectively, “J&J”).
These settlements, if agreed and adopted, will provide substantial funds to states and local governments for abatement of the Opioids epidemic across the country and will impose transformative changes in the way the settling defendants conduct their business.
Municipalities with a population of 10,000 persons or more that wish to participate in the settlement can do so by registering online and signing the two necessary Participation Agreements. All New Jersey municipalities with a population over 10,000 or actively litigating the matter have been assigned a unique registration code that would have been sent to you by the settlement administrators. You can also find your municipality’s registration code using this listing.
Municipalities with a population under 10,000 can also participate in the settlement agreement but most go through a slightly different process. Smaller municipalities must fill out the two Settlement Participation Forms (Distributors and Janssen) and return them to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office via email to OpioidSettlements@njoag.gov.
Participation from all municipalities, regardless of population, is important because of the way the settlement agreement is structured. Greater local government participation entitles the state and local governments to a greater pot of funding.