Johnson & Johnson settle for Ohio counties for $ 20 million before the opioid trial

Johnson & Johnson and pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen agreed to a $ 20.4 million settlement with two counties in Ohio on Tuesday in an effort to avoid a lengthy and costly federal lawsuit over the opioid addiction epidemic.

The opioid manufacturing company said settlement with Cuyahoga and the summits has no admission of liability and removes Johnson & Johnson from the federal lawsuit scheduled to begin this month in the Northern District of Ohio, according to a news release.

"The settlement allows the company to avoid the resource demands and uncertainty in a lawsuit as it continues to seek meaningful progress in meeting the nation's opioid crisis," Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson will pay a total settlement of $ 1[ads1]0 million in addition to reimbursing the counties $ 5 million for costs used to prepare litigation and donate an additional $ 5.4 million in charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations with opioid-related programs.

A number of companies are scheduled to meet the federal lawsuit Oct. 21 in the U.S. Northern District of Ohio regarding manufacturers of prescription opioids misrepresenting the risk of long-term opioid use.

Oklahoma judge ruled against Johnson & Johnson in a similar case in August, ordering the company to pay $ 572 million to the state. Judge Thad Balkman's decision accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary of pushing doctors to prescribe opioids while negating the risk of addiction.

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