As the opioid crisis reaches epic proportions, more and more states are taking steps to sue drug manufacturers they blame for initiating and then allowing the crisis to escalate. The latest of these is Oklahoma, which recently filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals. As one of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturers, Teva has long been at the center of the opioid storm. However, just days before the start of what many view as a historic trial aimed at holding drug manufacturers accountable for their actions, it was announced that Teva and the state of Oklahoma have reached an agreement that will allow the company to avoid a lengthy and potentially even more expensive trial.
What Are the Settlement Terms?
In accordance with the terms of the settlement, Teva Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $85 million to the state of Oklahoma to settle a lawsuit brought forth by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office. While the terms of the agreement are expected to take as much as two weeks to be finalized by lawyers on both sides, the agreed-upon money will be used by the state to help in a number of areas aimed at abating the state’s growing opioid crisis.
Teva Denies Liability for Opioid Crisis
Despite agreeing to pay $85 million to settle the lawsuit, Teva Pharmaceuticals is nevertheless able to deny any wrongdoing on its part in creating or fueling the Oklahoma opioid crisis. In a statement released shortly after the settlement was announced, the Israel-based company said the agreement “does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company,” and further added “Teva has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way.” While this has angered some who want to see the company be forced to admit its role in the crisis, others feel it is more important to get the lawsuit settled and use the money provided by the company in as many positive ways as possible.
How Will the Teva Settlement Money Be Used?
Now that Teva Pharmaceuticals has agreed to its settlement, just as Purdue Pharma did two months earlier when it agreed to a $270 million settlement, leaders in Oklahoma are now focusing on how money from the settlements will be used to help defeat the opioid crisis. As one of the main components of these settlements, much of the money will be used to establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University. The money is expected to play a significant role in helping the state overcome the opioid crisis, it is estimated that more than $20 million will be used to provide addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the OSU center over the next five years, while more than $12.5 million will be used by cities and counties directly to aid in their locality-based opioid programs. Finally, the Sackler family will be donating over $75 million over the next five years to the OSU treatment and research center, which will aid in the creation of even more research and treatment programs.
One Remaining Defendant – Johnson & Johnson
Now that Purdue Pharma and Teva have agreed to settlements, Johnson & Johnson is the only remaining defendant left in the Oklahoma lawsuit. With the case against J&J expected to be heard this week by a judge, many believe the company will follow in the footsteps of Purdue, Teva, and others by reaching a last-minute settlement with the attorney general’s office. As of now, settlements reached have resolved claims against not only Teva and Purdue Pharma, but also Cephalon Inc., Watson Laboratories Inc., Actavis LLC, and Actavis Pharma Inc., based on information provided by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office and court records.
Many More Injured Parties
As this historic lawsuit appears close to reaching its conclusion, the unfortunate fact is that there are many more individuals in Oklahoma and throughout the United States who have been impacted by the opioid crisis. Because of this, there is a continuing need for those injured by opioids to be put in touch with attorneys who can help them gain the compensation they need and deserve. Attorneys who are actively seeking those injured by dangerous drugs can turn to Broughton Partners, a case generation firm that provides law firms with qualified retainers.
Is your law firm looking to represent victims of Dangerous Drugs?
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Wayne Drash. “Drugmaker Teva to pay $85 million to settle Oklahoma opioid lawsuit”, CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/26/health/drugmaker-teva-to-pay-85-million-to-settle-oklahoma-opioid-lawsuit/index.html. Accessed June 3, 2019.