County Nets $71 Million From Opioid Lawsuit
That is county's portion of national lawsuit in which Milwaukee played key role.
Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel Margaret Daun would have liked to see the leaders of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors of opioids in jail, but, barring that, she’ll settle for their money.
Milwaukee County, joined by counties and municipalities from around the country, recently finished negotiating a settlement with a handful of opioid manufacturers and distributors that will bring $71 million to the county and can go directly into combating the opioid epidemic and treating the human suffering it has caused.
This settlement is likely only the first, Daun said. The county is also involved in lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic against pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, and against McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm that worked with Purdue Pharma, the now infamous pharmaceutical company owned by the Sackler family that produced the drug Oxycontin.
The $71 million coming into the county comes from a federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Ohio. The action was brought against McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The suit successfully argued that the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids misled the public on the risks of long-term use of the drugs and paid no attention to suspicious orders of the highly addictive drugs.
“I was able to turn to the chief executive officers of the manufacturers and distributors of opioids and tell them the toll that it has had on our community, both from a personal and a community wide standpoint,” Daun told the county board’s Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee Tuesday. “And I gave them that indictment in no uncertain terms.”
She added, “To this day, I consider it an incredible failing of our justice system that none of these individuals will ever see the inside of a jail cell.”
Milwaukee County, and other counties and municipalities in the state, are getting the best deal from the settlement of any local government in the country, Daun and County Executive David Crowley said, at a press conference Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the county executive joined County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson, County Clerk George Christenson and Daun in signing the settlement agreement.
“This settlement signals accountability for all the parties responsible after years of opioids devastating our communities and taking our lives too soon,” Crowley said. He added that the county has been on both the frontline of the opioid epidemic and the legal battle seeking relief from the companies that were involved in perpetrating it.
Nicholson said local governments are the public institutions closest to those fighting and suffering from opiod addiction and the structure of settlement payments in Wisconsin – giving local government 70 cents of every dollar – puts the money “in the hands of those that are best equipped to do the most good.”
- DHS Schedules Listening Sessions to Get Input On How Settlement Funds Should Be Used to Address Wisconsin’s Opioid Epidemic - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Jan 6th, 2022
- City, County Struggle for Solutions to Overdose Deaths - Edgar Mendez - Dec 26th, 2021
- MKE County: County Will Expand Addiction Prevention, Treatment - Graham Kilmer - Dec 23rd, 2021
- MKE County: County Nets $71 Million From Opioid Lawsuit - Graham Kilmer - Dec 22nd, 2021
- Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Awarded $1.6 million to Combat Opioid Abuse, Expand Access - Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Dec 17th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Announces Wisconsin to Join the Bloomberg Opioids Overdose Prevention Initiative - Gov. Tony Evers - Nov 10th, 2021
- Baldwin, Smith Call for Continued Support for Opioid Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction in COVID-19 Recovery Efforts - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Oct 20th, 2021
- Fake Pills Laced With Fentanyl Fueling Overdoses - Shamane Mills - Oct 4th, 2021
- MKE County: House of Correction Starts Opioid Treatment Program - Edgar Mendez - Sep 24th, 2021
- Memorial Remembers Victims of Opioid Addiction - Edgar Mendez - Sep 2nd, 2021
Read more about Opioid Crisis here