On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) issued a press release indicating that it would contribute $1 billion more to the originally proposed $4 billion opioid settlement fund in October 2019 to end the nationwide deluge of litigation that alleges the company of fueling the opioid addiction crisis in the U.S.
J&J, while disclosing the 25% increase to the previously announced proposal, stated that it is the result of continuous negotiations and the company's intention to maximize participation in the settlement. The company also noted that the deal is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing, and it will continue to defend against any litigation that the final agreement does not resolve.
The deal will resolve lawsuits brought by various government entities over the damages incurred while dealing with the abuse and addiction. The settlement will provide certainty for involved parties and critical assistance for families and communities in need, as per J&J.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based drugmaker, is currently facing at least 3,000 opioid lawsuits brought by local governments and Native American tribes. The litigation is presided by U.S. District Judge Dan A. Polster in the Northern District of Ohio, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Last week, J&J also agreed to pay over $100 million to resolve about 1,000 lawsuits over its talcum powder products for causing cancer brought by at least three law firms, which include Simmons Hanly Conroy, Simon Greenstone Panatier PC, and the Lanier Law Firm.