OKLAHOMA CITY — Four new settlements in the state’s opioid litigation were announced Wednesday by Attorney General John O’Connor.
With these new settlements, Oklahoma has recovered more than $900 million, according to O’Connor’s office.
Oklahoma ranks near the top of all states in total funds recovered on a per capita basis from the companies alleged to bear partial responsibility for the state’s opioid crisis, O’Connor’s office said in a press release.
The announcement follows settlements agreed to by the state in December with Allergan Pharmaceuticals, CVS, Walgreen Co. and Walmart Inc.
Oklahoma will recover $226.1 million from these new settlements, including up to $79.5 million from Walgreens, $73 million from CVS, $41 million from Walmart and $32.6 million from Allergan, an opioid manufacturer.
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“The opioid crisis has inflicted unspeakable pain on Oklahoma families and caused the deaths of thousands of Oklahomans,” O’Connor said. “Between 2016 and 2020, more than 3,000 Oklahomans died from opioid overdoses.
“These recent settlements bring Oklahoma’s total recoveries from opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to almost $1 billion.
“As with prior opioid settlement funds, Oklahoma’s recoveries must be used to abate and treat opioid addictions and to save lives across our state.”
The payments are structured to ensure critical support in early years as well as sustained resources over time. Most of Walmart’s amount will be paid during 2023; CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; and Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years.
To achieve maximum recoveries, the cities and counties within the state would have to sign onto these settlements, O’Connor’s office said. Part of the funds will be distributed to them.
“I would like to thank the state’s legal team, which includes the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office and the state’s outside Counsel, Whitten Burrage and Nix Patterson, for their professionalism, hard work, and dedication over the past five years to secure these landmark settlements for Oklahomans,” O’Connor said.
The state’s outside counsel said in a joint statement, “We’ve dedicated the last five years of our lives — in and out of the courtroom — to helping Oklahoma on the path to recovery from the opioid crisis. It has been an honor to work closely with the Attorney General’s Office, numerous state agencies, legislative leadership, the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse, and the courageous families who have lost loved ones to this crisis. While our work in the courtroom has come to an end, we will continue to work in the community to offer help.”
O’Connor’s office did not provide a response to a question about how much the outside law firms had been paid.