With a federal trial pending, the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson agreed Wednesday to pay two Ohio counties more than $20 million for its role in the ongoing opioid crisis.
The settlement comes on the heels of a $572 million settlement the company was ordered to pay New Brunswick, N.J., for marketing opioids in the state, the Associated Press reported.
The federal lawsuit is scheduled to start in less than three weeks, and four companies have already settled. But companies are still facing 2,000 lawsuits for their part in the opioid epidemic.
In the Ohio settlement, Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical agrees to pay Cuyahoga and Summit counties $10 million without admitting liability. The settlement also calls for the company to pay $5 million in legal expenses and give $5.4 million to nonprofits that fight the epidemic in northeastern Ohio, the AP reported.
Drugmakers Endo, Allergan and Mallinckrodt have also settled with these Ohio counties. Purdue Pharma has made a preliminary settlement to cover all its lawsuits, but half the states involved say they will oppose the settlement in bankruptcy court.