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Johnson & Johnson Settles Ohio Lawsuits To Avoid Federal Trial

 Tuesday, October 1, 2019

 Reuters

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Tuesday it will pay $20.4 million to settle claims by two Ohio counties, allowing the U.S. healthcare giant to avoid an upcoming federal trial seeking to hold the industry responsible for the nation’s opioid epidemic.

J&J became the fourth drugmaker to settle claims ahead of the Federal Court trial against multiple manufacturers and distributors in Cleveland scheduled for later this month.

The case is considered a bellwether for more than 2,600 lawsuits by state and local governments that are pending nationally. “The settlement allows the company to avoid the resource demands and uncertainty of a trial as it continues to seek meaningful progress in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis,” J&J said in a statement.

“The company recognizes the opioid crisis is a complex public health challenge and is working collaboratively to help communities and people in need,” it added.

Opioids were involved in 400,000 overdose deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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