HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville City Council unanimously voted Thursday to opt into a multimillion dollar opioid settlement.
The settlement is between the State of Alabama and opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and McKesson. The deadline to become a part of the settlement was midnight on Friday.
Earlier this year the council voted to become part of an opioid lawsuit settlement against Endo Pharmaceutical, who along with Johnson & Johnson and McKesson, are being sued for damages caused by their involvement in the opioid crisis that has ravaged the state.
The vote, according to the council, was a no-brainer.
No details of the settlement were discussed Thursday night, but the city is said to be in line to receive over $1 million as part of any settlement, but that will be based on the amount of damage that opioids have caused in the area.
The opioid epidemic does not appear to be slowing down. On Sunday, three lives were lost in north Alabama to the epidemic just one hour apart. Alabama once had the highest opioid prescription rate in the country.
Wendy Reeves, who is executive director of Partnership For A Drug-Free Community discussed the opioid epidemic with News 19 back in May.
“A few years ago, there were more prescriptions for medications in the state than there were people who live in the state,” Reeves told News 19. “Instead of us being able to impact the overdose numbers going down they have been going up. We’re obviously very concerned about that because all these lives are important. “Every one of them is because there’s family and friends that are devastated by it.”
The settlement payout will go toward addressing harms caused by Alabama’s opioid addiction crisis. Back in April, Johnson & Johnson was quoted as saying that the settlement is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing.
The City of Huntsville and attorneys will determine how any settlement money is used.