Public well being consultants push for regional collaboration with opioid settlement cash | WJHL

JONESBOROUGH, Tennessee (WJHL) – The region will make more for its opioid settlement money if northeast Tennessee counties work together on using the funds, public health experts told Washington County commissioners on Monday.

Rob Pack, professor of public health at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), pitched a concerted approach at a special district commission workshop on settlement funds. Pack has been a regional leader in drug abuse recovery efforts for the past decade and serves on several prominent regional and national groups dedicated to managing the crisis with an evidence-based approach.

Area governments are beginning to plan how best to spend the more than $ 20 million they will receive from the Baby Doe opioid settlement.

More than a month ago, the Stacy Street First District Criminal Justice judge suggested that local government leaders consider funding an inpatient treatment center in the former Northeast Correctional Center labor camp in Roan Mountain.

PREVIOUS: Community leaders hear pitch for a drug treatment center with Baby Doe comparative dollars

Street was in attendance on Monday, as were her fellow judge Lisa Nidiffer and State Representatives Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) and Tim Hicks (R-Gray).

Pack said he was coming not with a proposal but with a framework for how the county can best spend the funds. District Attorney Allyson Wilkinson said the commissioners will be free and free of possible “recoveries” from any bankruptcy related to the case on November 3rd.

“I have no profit from what I say tonight,” Pack told the commissioners. “I’m not looking for resources here, I’m not making a suggestion for anything.”

Instead, Pack reviewed facts about the impact of the opioid crisis at the regional and national levels.

He urged commissioners to consider a public health approach to using the funds and gave a full overview of how public health experts see the best way to help people recover from drug addiction and stay successful in recovery.

Pack said drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased more than 40% in 2020 from 2019. However, he said that up to 66% of people suffering from substance abuse recover and call recovery “not just possible, but likely”.

A key to ensuring that success reaches the most people is remembering that recovery is likely and a willingness to use “harm reduction” methods, including considering needle exchange programs, Pack said.

Another, he said, is “maximizing the impact of settlement resources by coordinating recovery services.”

Finally, he pointed to successful models, including in Kentucky, that include opportunities for self-preservation efforts in order to be self-sustaining.

“We need to think about getting out of this eternal scholarship cycle,” said Pack.

Wilkinson said the vast majority of settlement funds have almost no restrictions.

Commissioner Freddie Malone noted that the opioid crisis has caused Washington County to bear more costs – in everything from law enforcement to public health to education – than it receives in funding.

Jim Wheeler agreed, saying the severance payment was “a very small amount that we get back for things that were actually expenses. This is not a grant … this is money that we spent and was recovered for the community … and whatever it is for is a local decision. “

Once November 3 arrives, the Washington County amount cannot be “reclaimed from bankruptcy,” and the county can begin allocating it at its own discretion.

Commission chairman Greg Matherly recommended that the procedure for examining specific proposals be left in the HEW committee.

Settlement Reached in Dennis Hastert Hush Cash Lawsuit Days Earlier than Trial – NBC Chicago

In the civil suit against the disgraced former speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, an agreement was reached on Wednesday that provisionally put an end to the year-long hush-money case just a few days before the planned trial.

Judge Robert Pilmer, presiding judge for the 23rd Judicial District of Illinois, which includes Kendall County, where the lawsuit was filed, announced Wednesday afternoon that the parties had reached a preliminary settlement after attorneys on both sides showed more than an hour ago the scheduled date were held court proceedings.

“We have agreed in principle, the terms of the agreement are confidential,” said plaintiff’s attorney Kristi Browne after the settlement was announced, adding: “It just depends on us working out a written settlement agreement.”

“I can tell you that all claims between the parties are resolved subject to execution of the settlement agreement,” she said.

Hastert’s attorney, John Ellis, declined to comment.

“I would have loved to try this case, I think it was a good case,” said Browne. “I was very confident about our case from the start, but you know this is what we did and this is a solution my client is happy with.”

The settlement came less than a week after the judge ruled that the plaintiff, referred to only as James Doe in court records, would be identified in court for the first time after the trial began. The selection of the jury should begin on September 20th.

Haster, 79, approx. 85% served a 15-month prison sentence Delivered in 2016 after pleading guilty to a crime of financial crime known as structuring: disguising banking activities by withdrawing large amounts of cash in small denominations to circumvent federal reporting requirements.

Prosecutors said Hastert broke federal banking rules by covering up his $ 1.7 million withdrawals to pay hush money to a former student he made while teaching and wrestling in the 1970s. Sexually abused a coach at Yorkville High School prior to entering politics.

That person filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Hastert in 2016, demanding the unpaid balance of the total of $ 3.5 million in hush money, approximately $ 1.8 million.

Hastert was not charged in connection with the allegations of sexual abuse in part because of the Illinois statute of limitations – within three years of the incident or three years after a minor victim reached the age of 18 – had already expired.

When asked if the judge’s decision to appoint Doe had any impact on the settlement negotiations, Browne said she was unable to disclose communications with her client. But she later said that the deal came as “a bit” of a surprise to her.

“Anything can happen anytime, cases can be settled, but I would have said a few weeks ago that I was pretty sure this case was on trial,” she said.

“Let me say this: It is never over for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. It’s never over It affects her for the rest of her life, ”said Browne. “This solves this case. This solves my client’s claims against Mr. Hastert. It resolves Mr. Hastert’s counterclaim against my client and any litigation issues between them. “

When NC will see cash from the Opioid Settlement

Cities and counties have until January 2, 2022. If they do not make a decision, they will be excluded from the settlement fee.

GREENSBORO, NC – The opioid epidemic is national, 48 states and territories have joined forces for the second largest settlement in history by the Attorneys General. The total settlement amounts to $ 26 billion against pharmaceutical companies and distributors such as Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and Purdue Pharma.

North Carolina’s share of this settlement could be $ 750 million or more. The key word is could. To get all the money, all counties and major cities in the state have to go along.

“Some have already indicated that they want to join by creating a Memorandum of Agreement, but then they have to pass a resolution to sign the document. This is already happening across the state and we want it to be the case in every single county because if we get everyone on board we will get the maximum amount of money back to NC, ”said Josh Stein, NC attorney general.

the Map shows the status of counties and cities As of September 9, 2021. All green counties have approved this agreement, 20 of them have signed the resolution, including Greensboro, High Point, Summerfield, Winston-Salem.

Municipalities have a deadline of January 2, 2021 to register. If a city or county does not register, they will not receive any money when the checks are received. If the municipality signs up, checks can run out in April 2022.

How is the money divided?
15% – Goes to the state. The General Assembly will have control over it.
80% – Goes to local governments.
5% – Goes to the incentive fund to encourage enrollment.

How is the money used? There is an approved list, but it has to serve only one purpose: combating opioid abuse.

“When you think about the aftermath of opioid addiction, it’s our prisons, our emergency services, naloxone, narcan, to save lives, so we want the money to go to the local government,” Stein said.

Stein says his department wrote the 8-page appendix that lists any approved programs or departments that the money can be used for. To date, more than 16,000 people have lost their lives to opioid abuse.

Niles council members hurry for settlement cash from opioid epidemic lawsuit earlier than deadline

(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.

12 year old Mahoning County girl looking for her forever home

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.

States should determine precisely easy methods to spend opioid settlement cash

The endgame of the spreading mass of opioid lawsuits comes into focus: Already a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three major drug dealers pouring billions of dollars into communities to tackle the addiction crisis, and more to come.

But what exactly that looks like differs from place to place. States will likely see lump sums of money handed out for years and it will be up to them to decide how to spend it according to the signposts posted in the settlements. It could easily be subject to competing interests: lawmakers could argue with governors over priorities, while counties in some places could demand more autonomy. Some public health experts also raise questions about the quality of addiction programs that states could fund.

“This is extremely complicated, and it will be difficult to get it right,” said Kelly Dineen, director of the health law program at Creighton University Law School.


The lawyers leading the lawsuits promise the bulk of the billions will be used on addiction prevention and treatment. They say they are building safeguards into the agreements to ensure the money gets to the root of the problem that led states, cities, counties, and tribes to file these cases in the first place – a crisis that only reached new depths during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s a direct response to the 1998 more than $ 200 billion worth of historic tobacco settlement in which money advocates argued that they should go into smoking cessation and instead put prevention into the general funds of the states – and on some Places used for services that were as independent as filling potholes.


“This money has to go down and fight addiction,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said last week when a group of attorneys general announced the $ 26 billion deal with the three distributors and Johnson & Johnson. “We’re here for an addiction.”

More deals could follow as plaintiffs and defendants in the opioid supply chain – including manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies – negotiate ways to resolve the thousands of lawsuits alleging the companies sparked the country’s opioid epidemic .

State officials often look to available sources of income to supplement their limited budgets. If the settlements stipulate that the money should be used for control programs, a state could potentially skim some of the funds to build a general addiction care hospital, even if it wasn’t just an opioid addiction facility, some speculated Experts.

“There is always room in these matters for states to perhaps wriggle out of their original intent,” said Nicolas Terry, executive director of the Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University’s law school.

And when the money gets moving, different parties could argue about how to spend it.

When Oklahoma settled an isolated case against Purdue Pharma in 2019, the money was raised helped found an addiction treatment center at Oklahoma State University, in an initiative led by Attorney General Mike Hunter. But the members of the state parliament were outraged that the money hadn’t been put in the treasury so that they could decide what to do with it. You have been changed the law This gives them the authority to split funds from future settlements.

Other states are trying to get ahead of the process. Tennessee has set up an opioid defense council that will help steer any funding, while New York has set up a “lock box” for funds from the settlements to make sure it goes to addiction services.

“Yes, we reached an agreement after many months and years of negotiations, but it will not bring back the loss of life,” New York attorney general Letitia James said last week. “What it will do is prevent this tragedy from happening again. It will provide prevention and education, as well as prevention and beds, to the organizations and hospitals who need them now more than ever. “

New York has also set up a body to advise lawmakers on how to allocate the money, made up of health officials and people who have had addictions either themselves or in their families, which Melissa Moore, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, “is really crucial Level of accountability. “

In Oregon, county officials argue that most of the settlement money the state receives should go to them because the county governments are largely responsible for addiction relief, said Brad Anderson, senior assistant counsel in Washington County, the state’s second largest.

“These were local government lawsuits,” said Anderson. “Local governments have felt the effects of the opioid epidemic disproportionately and are best placed to be part of the solution.”

The county plans to use the funds received to build its planned addiction treatment and treatment center.

“People go to the emergency room, they often go to jail,” said Kristin Burke from the district’s health department. “But what we really want is for people to be treated.”

There are still many details to clarify before much of the money reaches the state coffers. More states and municipalities are considering the deal with the distributors and Johnson & Johnson and have an opportunity to sign up, but Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has already done so refused the compact, argues that the $ 26 billion over 18 years – and the estimated $ 527.5 million the state would receive over that period – is insufficient to take the toll on the addiction crisis. (Nearly $ 24 billion from the deal will go to the states, with the remaining $ 2 billion covering fees and expenses, attorneys general said.)

Public health experts have credited attorneys with describing the types of addiction programs the settlement money can be used for. In the agreement made with the distributors and Johnson & Johnson last week, the agreement lists a number of avoidance strategies aligning with public health approaches to combating addiction, including distribution of the opioid reversal drug overdose drug naloxone; Offer drug treatment to people without insurance and to people imprisoned; and expansion of syringe exchange programs.

Still, experts have raised concerns about how exactly states will allocate their dollars, with concerns about what types of programs they may or may not fund. Political and law enforcement agencies sometimes reject some of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction – the drugs methadone and buprenorphine – because they are opioids themselves, preferring instead to programs that encourage abstinence but are less successful and not endorsed by addiction health professionals.

“We want ways for states to adjust settlement funds to meet the needs of the people in their state,” said Dineen of Creighton. “But we also know that when it comes to drug policy, states do not always make evidence-based health decisions.”

For example, in Louisiana, lawmakers have passed Landry-sponsored bill direct any settlement money to drug courts. (The governor vetoed the measure, saying it had too vaguely defined an acceptable use of the money.) Many Public health advocates argue that drug courts are an extension of the criminal justice system that often fail to help people get evidence-based treatment and instead call on medical experts to guide addiction treatment.

While the settlement deal suggests what experts say are the best types of intervention, the deals are also expected to spend millions of dollars as officials in some states cut back on damage control programs. Local officials in Indiana and New Jersey Communities recently voted for closure syringe exchange programs, which can serve as avenues for addiction treatment and have been shown to reduce the transmission of viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV among people who inject drugs.

“You have to put your money where your mouth is,” Dineen said of the officers who will oversee the billing dollars. “If you really want to help or help prevent people with opioid use disorder, then you need to support programs and services that have a track record.”

Recovering addicts weight in on NY opioid settlement cash

ROCHESTER, NY – Johnson & Johnson has reached a $ 230 million settlement with New York State after being sued by the state over his alleged role in the ongoing opioid epidemic. Recovering addicts weigh what to do with the money.

Dean is grateful. Grateful for his home, his car and his job of remodeling houses.

What you need to know

  • Recovering addicts weigh what to do with the money following a $ 230 million settlement between New York and Johnson & Johnson
  • New York and other states are challenging opioid manufacturers and distributors, claiming that these companies helped fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic
  • One recovering addict believes that the money gained from this settlement and similar ongoing legal proceedings should go towards mental health services and inpatient programs for those in recovery.

“I love it,” said Dean, who didn’t want his last name published. “I grew up here, my family lives around me. My mother is a seven-minute walk from here.

“I look forward to going to work, I look forward to seeing the people I work with.”

That’s because he didn’t have any of it two years ago.

“I had nothing,” said Dean. “I was on the road, I didn’t have a home. I lived under a bridge. I didn’t have to go anywhere. “

For 15 years he struggled with opioid addiction, which not only left him homeless but also in and out of prison. He even overdosed several times.

“It just went downhill, I stole and robbed people [and] Rob drug dealers … “, said Dean.

And it all started with pain medication prescribed for him in high school after an ATV accident.

“The pills made me feel so good,” said Dean. “I loved having her all along. And they were so easy to find and so easy to get. “

New York and other states are challenging opioid manufacturers and distributors, claiming that these companies helped fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Johnson & Johnson, while admitting no liability or wrongdoing, agreed to a $ 230 million settlement with New York State late last month.

And Dean believes the money should go to nonprofits that are fighting the epidemic on the streets, nonprofits like Gates to Recovery.

“You should invest in those who are really helping right now,” said Dean. “Who helps and who is really out there, not because of the money.”

After work, Dean went to a Narcan training event jointly hosted by Gates to Recovery and Mission Recovery and Hope to support the cause. He says such events are important because Narcan saved his life several times.

“I never thought that half a bag would upset me, but it did,” said Dean. “And I’ve always been lucky enough to have someone to save me.”

He’s not just a member of Gates to Recovery. Its boss is President Randy Cimino, who, like Dean, employs those who are in recovery.

“I want to give you this chance. I’ll pay them a good, fair wage, ”said Cimino. “These are talented men and women who are very highly qualified and only need one chance.”

Randy is a retired addict himself and joined Gates to Recovery after leaving prison six years ago.

“It’s difficult because a lot of people are looking for information, but there’s nowhere to go,” said Cimino. “You come to us, we give this information and we give you directions on where to find the help.”

He believes that the money raised from this settlement and similar ongoing legal proceedings should go to mental health services and inpatient programs for those in recovery.

“This money is urgently needed to help these men and women in need,” said Cimino. “There’s no program out there in New York that is very effective at all.”

But no matter where the money goes, Dean is happy that New York State is taking a stand and hopes this will help people understand the consequences of taking the pill.

“I hope this is more likely to open people’s eyes, and I hope that the right help is out there,” said Dean.

Legal professionals for victims in Flint water lawsuit make case for extra money in settlement

FLINT, me. – On Monday, lawyers for Flint residents were given the opportunity to bring their case that the $ 650 million settlement with the state is simply not enough because of the water crisis.

A total of 50,000 people have signed up to receive a stake, and many of them are unsatisfied with a variety of issues, including $ 200 million in legal fees.

Flint, is still grappling with the effects of the water crisis. Now the fight for money. From Monday, the victims’ lawyers pleaded for more money in court. Soon the victims will tell their own stories.

Here’s a look at the numbers.

  • 50,000+ registered

  • Money mostly for kids, businesses hit by the lead water crisis

  • Comparative deal for $ 640 million

  • Lawyers charge 32% legal fees

  • Balance about $ 435 million

When the deal was first announced, the governor was optimistic.

“It is our duty to make the best offer to Flint’s children and families,” said Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

But since then, some, including Flint’s former mayor, have been saying the number should be closer to 1 billion.

“It’s just not enough for those who have suffered,” said former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the statement on Monday.

“Our state owes the people of Flint a path to healing, not a lengthy legal back-and-forth. I continue to hope that this agreement will be finally approved to get us all on this path. We recognize that no amount of money will ever remove the damage done, but this comparison should serve as a reminder of our commitment to the people of Flint, the city and their future, ”said Nessel.

Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

Bucco to Governor: Signal Invoice Now to Put Opioid Settlement Cash to Work Saving Lives

Bucco to Governor: Sign Bill Now to Use Opioid Compensation for Work to Save Lives

A $ 4.5 billion state settlement with the drug company responsible for making and promoting the addictive pain reliever that fueled the rampant opioid epidemic will gross more than $ 110 million in New Jersey , and Senator Anthony M. Bucco urges the governor to ensure the money is used to fight addiction and save lives.

“In anticipation of this year-long agreement, both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a bill that establishes a framework for the use of opioid comparators to support addiction prevention and treatment programs,” said Bucco (R-25). “This bill is on the governor’s desk and I hope he won’t waste time signing it so we can get the money out on the streets, help people and save lives as soon as possible.”

Bucco is a sponsor of the bill, S-3867who would establish the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund and a 13-member Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council.

According to the draft law, monies received by the state in a settlement would be paid into the fund and used specifically for the purpose of supplementing programs and services for the prevention and treatment of addiction diseases and according to the terms of the settlements in connection with claims from manufacturing, marketing , Distribution or dispensing of opioids.

“This settlement money should be used immediately to mitigate some of the damage caused by Purdue Pharma’s irresponsible advertising and marketing of OxyContin,” said Bucco. “This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the damage done, so it is important that we get the most out of every dollar to fight the epidemic and prevent tragic consequences. It’s the right thing. “

A similar fund was recently created in upstate New York, where settlement funds must be poured into a new fund to ensure proceeds go towards fighting the opioid epidemic.

The agreement between 15 states, including New Jersey, and Purdue Pharma follows years of litigation. A mediator’s report filed in federal court in New York revealed the deal, and the settlement is subject to court approval.

“The opioid epidemic didn’t miss a beat during the pandemic, and there is no time to waste,” said Bucco. “This money, if used properly, will save lives and prevent tragedies that have become all too common in our state’s communities.

“The governor understands the urgency and I hope he will work with the legislature to ensure the money is paid responsibly so that it has the greatest impact and helps the most people,” added Bucco.

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J&J commits to finish sale of opioids nationwide in $230 million New York settlement

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference to announce criminal justice reform on May 21, 2021 in New York City, United States.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Johnson & Johnson has reached a $ 230 million settlement with New York State that prevents the company from promoting opioids and has confirmed that sales of such products have ceased in the United States.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office said in a statement Saturday the agreement prohibits J&J from promoting opioids by any means and prohibits lobbying for such products at the federal, state or local levels.

Johnson & Johnson has not marketed any opioids in the US since 2015 and completely ceased business in 2020.

As part of the settlement, the company will settle opioid-related claims and spread payments over nine years. It could also pay $ 30 million more in the first year if the state executive board signs a new law creating an opioid settlement fund, according to the press release from James’ office.

The settlement follows years of lawsuits filed by states, cities and counties against large pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis that killed nearly 500,000 people in the US over the past few decades.

Governments have argued that companies have prescribed the medication too often, causing people to become addicted and abuse other illegal forms of opioids, while companies have stated that they have distributed the required amount of the product to people with medical problems help.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc in countless communities in New York state and the rest of the nation, and millions are still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said in a statement.

“Johnson & Johnson helped start that fire, but today they are pledging to leave the opioid business – not just in New York but across the country,” she said. “J&J no longer makes or sells opioids in the United States.”

The New York opioid lawsuit against the rest of the defendants will begin this week, according to the announcement. Other defendants in the New York lawsuit include Purdue Pharma; Mallinckrodt LLC; Endo health solutions; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA; and Allergan Finance LLC.

In a statement on Saturday, Johnson & Johnson said the settlement was “not an admission of liability or misconduct on the part of the company” and “with the terms of the company previously announced A $ 5 billion fundamental settlement agreement for the settlement of opioid lawsuits and claims by states, cities, counties, and tribal governments.

The company also said it will continue to defend itself against lawsuits that the definitive deal won’t resolve.

James said the state will focus on funding opioid prevention, treatment and education efforts to “prevent any future devastation”.