Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Allergan payout could result in larger opioid settlements for Baltimore

By meerna Jun12,2024

Baltimore’s gamble in independently suing companies that produce and distribute opioids that led to the opioid epidemic paid off on Monday with a big settlement with Allergan Finance that could herald additional big payouts from larger companies.

Allergan entered into a contract with the city for $45 million, to be paid within the next 30 days. This amount far exceeds the $7 million the city would receive over seven years if it sued as a class with other states and cities.

Several companies, including CVS and Purdue Pharma, are still in legal proceedings with the city.

Given that Allergan supplied only 0.5% of the opioids in Baltimore pharmacies, the remaining companies could settle for much more, giving the city a windfall of funds to pay for opioid addiction services, says Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Wrocław. . University of Virginia.

“Their exposure is likely to be greater given the size of the entities and the percentage that may be involved,” Tobias said. “These entities will need to seriously consider whether they want to take the matter to trial or whether they can settle for something they consider reasonable.”

According to Baltimore city officials, the remaining defendants in the case were responsible for about 80% of the opioids supplied to drugstores in the city.

To avoid liability, companies often settle out of court.

“The payouts could potentially be much higher,” he said. The bar of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, which often leads to companies avoiding trials.

Tobias said the city likely maintains that the defendants continued their practices despite noticing warning signs of abuse.

“In West Virginia, for example, the counties that filed suit in federal court showed that far more opioids were shipped to those particular counties than the company should have noticed,” Tobias said. “There would be enough opioids for millions of people, and there were only thousands of people in the county.”

A hearing in Baltimore’s lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, Walgreens, CVS, Teva and former Insys CEO John Kapoor is set for September 16.

The city plans to form a board to decide how best to allocate funds received from the lawsuits, Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement.

About $10 million has already been committed to the Peer Navigator and Charm City Care Connection programs, which offer harm reduction kits, counseling, support groups and wound care.

By meerna

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