COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the deadline for counties and political subdivisions to decide they were taking part in a $808 million settlement with opioid distributers was today.
However, only 86 percent of eligible entities had submitted their agreement to participate. He said that this is creating a problem for them to move forward with litigation.
“The companies, frankly, are not interested in a deal that leaves lawsuits out there and hanging,” he explained.
Yost said the distributors want at least 95 percent of the eligible entities to join the state’s litigation to avoid more, smaller disputes. The settlement will provide funds to state and local subdivisions to fight the on-going opioid epidemic.
If awarded, 15 percent of the settlement will go to the state for legal fees, 30 percent will go to community recovery programs and 55 percent will support the OneOhio Foundation to continue work in the opioid epidemic.
“We desperately need this money on the ground combatting the opioid epidemic and we’re in a position where a few governments may hold out and nix the deal for the entire state,” said Yost.
During Friday morning’s news conference, Yost warned that the state would move forward with their trial date in September and likely settle the night before their date. He said that any political subdivisions not on the settlement agreement will be left to litigate with the distributors on their own and be forced to try to get whatever money is left.
The Attorney General’s Office created a webpage where you can see which counties and entities are (or are not) participating in the settlement. To learn more, click here.