HOUSTON (KETK)- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Tuesday, there was a $290 million statewide opioid settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson to clear up opioid-related claims.
The agreement will mostly follow the terms from the Global Prescription Opioid Litigation Settlement Agreement that was announced on July 23.
Johnson & Johnson will pay $291,841,754.89 to the Qualified Settlement Fund, which the state of Texas will receive by Jan. 1, 2022.
“I am pleased that all parties have reached final agreement on this monumental settlement. This is the next step to bring much-needed funding for Texans who have fallen victim to the irresponsible and deceptive marketing practices from opioid manufacturers that spurred this epidemic,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “My office will continue to aggressively work to hold those accountable for causing this crisis. These funds will bring life-changing resources to those victimized by this tragic crisis.”
Texas is also expected to get approximately $1.2 billion from three distributors. Therefore, in total the state will receive $1.5 million for efforts to put an end to the opioid crisis.
“With genuine appreciation to General Paxton and the Office of the Attorney General, and on behalf of the citizens of Smith County, I am deeply appreciative for the coordination of state and local resources to reach this first monumental opioid settlement,” said Smith County Judge Nathanial Moran. “The funds from this settlement, which will be disbursed at the state, regional, and local levels in a manner and method specifically designed to fight the opioid epidemic and mitigate the harm it has caused, are appropriate and will bring much needed relief and treatment to citizens in rural East Texas, including Smith County.”
Paxton said he and his staff have been working on the settlement for almost three years.
“The opioid crisis is not going away. Opioid deaths are almost up 30% from last year. These monies, the goal of it is to get them here as fast as possible,” he said.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, also mentioned this settlement is significant.
“Bexar County has the second trial setting in the Texas opioid litigation efforts, and sadly has the highest rate of babies being born addicted to opioids in the State of Texas,” he said. “The ability to put the money from this settlement to work for families in the county and to address opioid use disorder across the state right away is an important part of why I support General Paxton and Texas political subdivisions in moving this historic settlement forward.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins stated, the settlement is one of the best outcomes in the nation.
“Dallas County, like so many communities throughout Texas, has been hard hit by an opioid epidemic that was caused and fueled by drug company misconduct,” he said. “Johnson & Johnson, has been held to financially account for its role in this crisis. Dallas County, its trial counsel, and the Office of the Attorney General have worked together to achieve this historic result that benefits tens of millions of Texans by promptly putting monies for opioid harm reduction into communities that sorely need it.”