Fire agencies, schools share $46 million in opioid lawsuit
More than 20 local governments, half of them in or near the Portland metro area, will share an extra $46 million from a national opioid settlement negotiated by Oregon and other states.
The money goes to 18 fire agencies, three school districts and the Bay Area Hospital District in Coos Bay.
The money will be in addition to $25 million Oregon already has received this year from the settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and the three largest distributors of opioids: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. The overall Janssen settlement was for $5 billion, and for the three distributors, $21 billion.
Oregon's total payout from the settlement is $326 million over 18 years. The state's payment is shared with counties and cities.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said back in June that 22 local governments could get their shares this year if the state reached an agreement with them. The money is expected to be paid by early December.
"This money is vitally needed to address the recent spike in overdose deaths in Oregon and will help save lives," she said in a statement. "I want to thank these 22 special districts for their cooperation in making sure that our state is best positioned to put the settlement money to work as soon as possible. These key sign-offs are incredibly important and appreciated."
Portland Public Schools and the Beaverton School District are among the local governments that will receive money, plus eight fire agencies: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue; Clackamas Fire District No. 1; Columbia River Fire & Rescue; Marion County Fire District No. 1, and Canby, Molalla, Sandy and Woodburn.
Oregon also will receive about $95 million from the settlement with Purdue Pharma. The timing of the first payments to Oregon in the Purdue settlement will be determined by the outcome of an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rosenblum also gave public thanks to David Hart, a senior assistant attorney general in the Oregon Department of Justice who has led Oregon's negotiations with drugmakers in litigation over the past 15 years, "with nothing less than superlative results."
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