Teva Pharmaceuticals has agreed to settle a lawsuit for $85 million with Oklahoma over their involvement with the opioid crisis.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the state’s legal team’s countless hours and resources preparing for this trial- and their dedication and resolve to hold the defendants in this case accountable for the ongoing opioid overdose and addiction epidemic that continues to claim thousands of lives each year,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement.
“Nearly all Oklahomans have been negatively impacted by this deadly crisis and we look forward to Tuesday, where we will prove our case against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries,” Hunter added.
While Teva agreed to settle the lawsuit, the company didn’t admit to any wrongdoing.
“While the company has long stated that the courtroom is not a place to address the crisis, Teva is pleased to put the Oklahoma case behind it and remains prepared to vigorously defend claims against the company, including the upcoming federal court trial in Cleveland where the majority of the cases are pending,” the company said in a statement.
Teva isn’t the only defendant named in this lawsuit. Purdue Pharma, which makes Oxycontin, settled out of court on March 26 by agreeing to pay $270 million in damages.
The settlements from both companies will be used to pay for the Oklahoma State University Center for Wellness and Recovery and to compensate local cities and towns affected by opioid-related litigation.
According to a poll released by the NPR and Ipos in April, a third of Americans have been touched directly by the opioid crisis.
“It’s something, no matter your age, your gender, no matter where you live, your party affiliation, that people believe in large numbers,” said Mallory Newall, the lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.