J&J to Pay $297 Million to Settle Texas Opioid Lawsuits

October 29, 2021

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to pay $297 million to Texas by year’s end to settle claims over the company’s alleged role in the state’s opioid epidemic if enough local governments approve the settlement.

The proposed deal is independent from a proposed $26 billion national opioid settlement negotiated with the three largest U.S. drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen — and drugmaker J&J, who agreed to pay $5 billion over nine years under its terms.

In August, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his state would sign onto the parts of the national settlement negotiated with the distributors, excluding J&J. The state is slated to receive $1.2 billion from the three companies once the nationwide deal is finalized.

But in negotiating separately with J&J, ahead of two Texas trials scheduled for early next year, Paxton was able to exercise leverage and negotiate a quicker, if not better, deal. For the deal to go forward, 96 percent of local governments still must sign onto the Texas settlement within 45 days.

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