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DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL DUNAWAY GIVES STATEMENT IN OPIOID TRIAL SETTLEMENT

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The following is a statement from Bryant C. Dunaway, District Attorney General for Tennessee’s Thirteenth Judicial District, regarding yesterday’s proposed settlement in the Ohio Multi-District Litigation:

“It’s disappointing to see that a few state officials are more interested in settling with these defendants than in reaching a settlement that will save lives. Numerous cities and counties in Tennessee were suffering from this crisis and struggling to discover a legal solution long before it became apparent that there would ever be any financial relief. Now that there are settlement funds being discussed, there are representatives who seem eager to settle for far, far less than anything representing meaningful relief.

The deal that the Attorneys General (AG) are rushing to accept would parse out $18 billion over 18 years, nationally. When broken down to the city/county level on an annual basis, this amount does nothing to alleviate the very serious issues these companies have created in Tennessee. It is, at best, a budget for more body bags.

The companies named in our complaints are among the largest in the nation and the world. They have profited for decades off the suffering of rural Americans, particularly in Tennessee, and we are not willing to accept pennies on the dollar for the losses we have incurred as a result of their actions. Simply put, these companies can, and should, pay more money in the aggregate, and significantly more up front so that resources can immediately be put to work saving lives.

We will continue to advocate for the cities and communities who joined this fight when the odds seemed insurmountable, and we will continue to argue for effective relief for those who have been hardest hit by this crisis. Unlike most of the AGs advocating for this settlement, we are actively litigating against these huge corporations and are not afraid to try our cases if a global settlement does not bring effective relief.”

Hours before the first federal trial in the opioid epidemic was set to begin yesterday, four pharmaceutical companies reached a settlement totaling $260 million.

The four companies, McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., reached a settlement with the two plaintiffs, Summit and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio. McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. will pay out a combined $215 million immediately, and Teva Pharmaceutical will pay $20 million.

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