Johnson & Johnson said it will pay US$20.4 million to settle claims by two Ohio counties in a lawsuit that accused the drugmaker of contributing to a US opioid addiction epidemic, Reuters reports.
The company said in a statement the settlement removes it from a federal trial against multiple manufacturers and distributors scheduled to begin on Oct. 21.
J&J will pay US$10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, reimburse US$5 million of their legal and other expenses and provide US$5.4 million to non-profit organizations that run opioid-related programs in the counties.
On Monday, Mallinckrodt Plc finalized a US$24 million settlement agreement with the same two counties.
Endo International Plc and Allergan Plc also settled with the two counties in August to avoid going to trial.
Remaining defendants in the Oct. 21 trial include McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Henry Schein Inc.
Earlier in the year, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay US$572.1 million to the state for its part in fueling an opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers.
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