Lawsuits filed by Timothy Smith of Smith & Johnson, Attorneys PC on behalf of 36 Northern Michigan municipalities will bring in over 26 million to those cities and counties. These local funds will be allocated from a 26 billion dollar national settlement with just four of the numerous defendants named in this litigation. Smith & Johnson, as counsel of record for 36 cities and counties across Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, is proud of the role it has played to secure funds to reimburse municipalities for the monies spent cleaning up the epidemic these companies created and for future prevention and treatment of opioid addiction in our communities.

The Master Settlement Agreement between the municipalities and these 4 defendants requires the monies to be used for a variety of abatement measures approved by the Federal Court in Cleveland, Ohio. This settlement is the first of its kind to administer resources directly to the state and local governments specifically for relief programs to help rebuild the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic.

The settlement will allow for a broad range of approved abatement uses by state and local governments. Developed in consultation with the nation’s leading public health experts, the list of pre-approved uses includes a wide range of intervention, treatment, education, and recovery services so that state and local governments can decide what will best serve their communities. It is anticipated that entire communities will benefit from the effects of the opioid-remediation efforts funded by the settlements and the injunctive relief the settlements provide.

In addition to monies, the groundbreaking opioid settlement also provides long-term injunctive relief for the state of Michigan. The agreements require vital changes to both distributors’ and manufacturers’ conduct to protect the health and welfare of our communities.

The agreement will result in court orders requiring Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen to:

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

The agreement will result in court orders requiring Johnson & Johnson to:

  • Stop selling opioids.
  • Fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

The settlement monies will go a long way towards stemming the current level of opioid abuse and addiction. By changing the way these companies do business, this settlement agreement and injunctive relief will play a role in ensuring that this opioid crisis will never happen again.

The litigation against the remaining defendants in the lawsuit will continue and additional monies from the remaining manufacturers, distributors and retailers are anticipated. For more information, contact Tim Smith of Smith & Johnson Attorneys, P.C. at (231) 946-0700 or