By Dietrich Knauth
(Reuters) -Alabama on Tuesday reached $276 million in settlements with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp and Endo International Plc, resolving claims that the companies fueled an opioid addiction crisis, the state attorney general said.
Under the settlement, drug distributor McKesson will pay $141 million to the state, while drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Endo will pay $70.3 million and $25 million, respectively, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement.
Alabama was one of four states that declined to join a nationwide $26 billion settlement of opioid litigation by McKesson, two other top U.S. distributors and J&J that was finalized in February. [L1N2V01ZA]
“These three settlement agreements affirm my decision to decline participation in the national opioid settlements, which did not adequately acknowledge the unique harm that Alabamians have endured,” Marshall said in a statement.
Alabama will more from McKesson and a faster payout from J&J, compared to what the state would have received under the national settlement, Marshall said.
Alabama would have received $115 million over 18 years from McKesson under the national settlement framework, and J&J would have paid $70.3 million over nine years. Under the new settlement, J&J will now make full payment within a year, while McKesson will pay within nine years, Marshall said.
The state had been on the verge of a trial against McKesson, with opening arguments scheduled for Monday before the two sides requested a delay. [L2N2WC21I]
(Reporting by Dietrich KnauthEditing by Bill Berkrot)