As reported by The New York Times (subscription) and multiple other outlets, Native American tribes have reached a $590 million proposed settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson and three of the country’s largest opioid distributors to resolve claims over the companies’ alleged role in fueling the massive opioid addiction crisis responsible for ravaging hundreds of vulnerable native communities.
Together with a previous settlement with the Cherokee Nation, federally recognized tribes will receive a total of $665 million from the pharmaceutical companies involved. You can read a copy of the statement issued by the involved tribes here.
Tribes and Tribal health organizations have been severely impacted by the opioid epidemic. These settlements bring much-needed funds to address this crisis. Money from the tentative deals would go toward addiction and treatment services overseen by Native American tribal leaders. If most tribes sign on, as is expected, the settlement would be groundbreaking and most notable for its size as well as its acknowledgment of the 574 federally recognized tribes as a distinct litigating entity.
Lieff Cabraser represents several Native American tribes, Alaska Native village, and tribal health organizations, in addition to sitting on the national multidistrict opioid litigation’s Court-appointed Tribal Leadership Committee.
Learn more about Lieff Cabraser’s ongoing work seeking justice from opioid manufacturers and distributors for the horrific addiction plague created by indiscriminate and money-driven dispersal of opioid drugs throughout the U.S.