HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a $290 million statewide opioid settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday to resolve opioid-related claims.
The agreement will largely track the terms of the Global Prescription Opioid Litigation Settlement Agreement that was announced July 23, 2021. According to the settlement, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $291,841,754.89 into the Qualified Settlement Fund, representing Texas’s allocation of the Global Abatement Settlement.
“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,” Paxton is quoted as saying in a news release sent Tuesday. “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.”
In addition to the funds from Johnson & Johnson, Texas is also slated to receive up to $1.2 billion from the three distributors, which will bring to Texas up to $1.5 billion in funding for statewide opioid abatement efforts.
“I am deeply appreciative for the coordination of state and local resources to reach this first monumental opioid settlement,” Smith County Judge Nathanial Moran said. “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.”
“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,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff 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, like so many communities throughout Texas, has been hard hit by an opioid epidemic that was caused and fueled by drug company misconduct,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.” Through this settlement, which is the best of its kind in the nation, one of those companies, 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.”
Read the settlement here.