Cash out for me! It looks like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens will make a lot of money related to the opioid pandemic. According to CNN, a federal judge has ruled that the companies must pay $650.6 million to two Ohio counties for damages related to the opioid crisis.
U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster ruled that over the next 15 years, about $306.2 million should be paid to Lake County, and about $344.4 million should be paid to Trumbull County. All three companies are responsible for aiding the county’s opioid epidemic last November.
It’s been a while since I’ve worn this outfit. Reports suggest it was originally filed in 2018 and was part of a federal federal lawsuit created that year to settle diverse claims against opioid manufacturers and distributors. Lake County and Trumbull allege that the pharmacies “abused their position of special trust and responsibility” when registering to distribute controlled drugs and, in doing so, “promoted a black market for prescription opioids,” the complaint reads.
Judge Polster wrote in her ruling that the damages awarded were intended to “address a small part of a terrible and tenacious and escalating national tragedy.” He added, “Even if the Court could wave a magic wand and permanently eliminate any current or future oversupply of legal prescription opioids and prevent all diversion in the future of legal prescription opioids entering the illicit market, which will do nothing to alleviate the nuisance that will continue to exist in Lake and Trumbull counties – i.e. the widespread popularity of OUDs [opioid use disorder] and drug addiction. “
The companies are not satisfied with the ruling, and a spokeswoman for CVS, Walmart and Walgreens said they plan to appeal the ruling. In a statement, Fraser Engerman, senior director of external relations at Walgreens, said, “The facts and the law do not support the grand jury’s verdict last fall, and they do not currently support it. court ruling. As we have said throughout this process, we never manufactured or marketed opioids nor distributed them to the ‘pill factories’ and internet pharmacies that fueled this crisis. . “
Ohio leaders in Trumbull and Lake counties appear to be unconcerned and plan to use the damages for opioid addiction remedies. Lake County District Commissioner John Plecnik is investing $306.2 million given to them to address the impacts of the opioid crisis in their communities.