(WKBN) – Money is pouring into Ohio communities as part of a class action lawsuit settlement against drug companies for their role in the opioid epidemic.
The Ohio churches will receive $ 26 billion.
Niles is one of the communities working to get an ordinance to accept some of that money. They held a special council meeting on Wednesday evening to learn more about this money.
Niles is said to win $ 300,000 from the settlement.
This money can be used for treatment, education, distribution crackdowns, and other community needs.
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Gostlin: Is there a reason the city shouldn’t accept this money?
Zuzolo: “Not from a legal point of view. Not that I could see it. “
Philip Zuzolo is a Niles Law Director.
The compensation never has to be paid back.
Johnson and Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors pay the bill. One such distributor is Cardinal Health, based in Ohio, just outside of Columbus.
“This epidemic has hit us hard,” said Jimmy Julian, a member of Niles City Council.
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s website, Trumbull County ranks sixth in the state for all opioid-related deaths.
Niles has the second largest death toll in Trumbull.
“It will go into resources fighting this epidemic, which is still rife in northeast Ohio but across Ohio as a whole,” said Julian.
The distributors have 17 years to pay their severance payments. Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson and Johnson will cease selling and promoting the sale of opioids.
“Very much needed by the police, courts and various educational programs, and hopefully it can help families affected by this epidemic,” said Julian.
But the city is running out of time to pass the ordinance.
“We were told that the resolution or ordinance must be passed by August 13th to allow full participation,” said Zuzolo.
Not enough city council members showed up to see him off without a third reading.
So the last vote will take place on Thursday.
Councilors at Wednesday’s meeting say they expect to be approved before Friday’s deadline.