Kroger said Friday that it will pay up to $1.4 billion over 11 years to settle most of the litigation against the grocery giant stemming from the opioid epidemic that has ravaged the U.S. for more than a decade.
Kroger, one of the country’s largest supermarket and drugstore chains, said the money will go to states and local governments, including $36 million to Native American tribes, to help fund treatment and other efforts to deal with the ongoing crisis. Another $177 million will go to cover attorney costs and related legal fees.
Kroger has stores in 35 states, and 33 would be eligible for money as part of the deal. The company previously announced settlements with New Mexico and West Virginia.
"This is an important milestone in the company’s efforts to resolve the pending opioid litigation and support abatement efforts," Kroger said in a statement. "Kroger has long served as a leader in combating opioid abuse and remains committed to patient safety."