Settlements Expected to Total Up to $4.1 Million
Schenectady County announced that it has entered into settlement agreements with five entities concerning their involvement with the opioid epidemic (Allergan, McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson and Johnson). The County also has claims pending against multiple additional defendants and anticipates a similar outcome in those cases.
Under these agreements, Schenectady County is expected to receive $4,146,191.
“The Schenectady County Attorney’s Office has worked extensively with our outside counsel, ‘Simmons, Hanley and Conroy,’ to ensure these settlement agreements will provide the best outcome for the County while incurring the least possible cost,” said Christopher H. Gardner, Schenectady County Attorney.
On June 15, 2017, Schenectady County, joining many governmental jurisdictions throughout the Country, commenced a legal action against numerous pharmaceutical companies, distributers, and individuals alleging that their actions resulted in the opioid epidemic that has plagued our community.
“I was proud that Schenectady County acted to protect our community,” said Anthony Jasenski, Sr., Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Too many of our friends, families and neighbors have been devastated by the proliferation of opioids. While this money will not bring back the lives that have been lost, it will be used to help those who have been negatively affected and to prevent future lives from being similarly devastated.”
“We all know someone who has been negatively impacted by the opioid epidemic,” said Gary Hughes, Majority Leader of the Schenectady County Legislature. “I was impressed by James DeSantis’s willingness to share his experience with us at the press conference when we announced the lawsuit. Too many families have suffered similar circumstances and we as a Legislature acted to help our community recover.”
The County explained that three quarters of the money is required to be spent on specific opioid-related expenses—to help those that have been affected and for prevention services.
“The money that is earmarked for rehabilitation and prevention services will ensure that our families get the help they need,” said County Legislator Richard Patierne, Chair of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee. “It is imperative that the County act to help put lives back together—and prevent others from having their lives ruined. The funding from these companies will ensure that the County is in a position to help our community recover from the opioid epidemic.”