July 21, 2021

The nation’s three biggest opioid distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson reached a $26 billion settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic, a crisis that has killed more than 500,000 Americans over the past two decades.

A bipartisan group of attorneys general announced Wednesday the agreement with three major drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen — and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, potentially releasing the companies from current and future litigation if a critical mass of communities across the country agree to drop their cases.

Attorneys general who unveiled the deal said that while they could not adequately compensate the families of those who have died, but the money states will receive over the next 18 years may help reduce the future threat.

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Cohen Milstein represented the States of Vermont and Indiana in their litigation against the three distributors and the State of New Jersey in its litigation against Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of J&J) as well as assisting these states in investigations and other litigation related to the marketing, distribution and sale of opioids.