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EasyDNNNews

Commissioners Court Approves Settlement in Opioid Litigation

  • 2 November 2021
  • Author: Connie Odom
  • Number of views: 539
  • 0 Comments
Commissioners Court Approves Settlement in Opioid Litigation

The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a settlement in the County’s opioid litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson that will bring over $314,000 directly to the County this year in recognition of its past opioid remediation. The settlement gives the County access to regional abatement program funds of more than $6.3 million. In 2018, the County filed a claim against Johnson & Johnson and other defendants responsible for bringing an oversupply of opioids into Williamson County.

“We are happy to see money begin to come in so we can provide more help to residents of Williamson County in combatting the opioid epidemic,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. “Williamson County was a driving force for the statewide settlement, and we expect this to be the first of multiple settlements with other defendants that focus on Texas and address needs within Williamson County.” 

The settlement with Johnson & Johnson is the first in the nation to fund this year, instead of over nine payment years in a global resolution proposed by Johnson & Johnson in late July. Williamson County worked alongside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to secure a better deal for Texas that guarantees more than $291 million to the state as opioid overdose deaths continue to rise. Most of the settlement will be used for opioid abatement programs throughout the state and be overseen by the Texas Opioid Council. 

Judge Gravell pointed to the work Williamson County is already implementing to combat opioid use disorder in the county. 

“WilCo’s Mobile Outreach Team is gaining national attention through its work to identify those at risk of opioid overdose and provide Narcan.”  Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal medication that can reverse a fentanyl overdose if administered in a timely manner following the overdose. Texas law allows anyone to possess and administer naloxone in a presumed opioid overdose. “We will continue to do all we can to help families find treatment for their loved ones and to help save lives,” Judge Gravell said. 

Individuals looking to obtain a Narcan kit and training may call Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team at 512-864-8277.

The settlement itself is posted on the OAG website: Read the settlement here.   

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