The agreement is the latest in a series of lawsuits in the US “opioid crisis”, which has claimed more than 500,000 lives over the past two decades and has cornered some of the largest companies in the US medical sector
Now the companies have agreed to pay an additional $440 million over seven years to other Native American peoples, AFP concludes from documents the plaintiffs filed Tuesday in a federal court in Ohio.
The consequences of the opiate crisis were more severe for Native Americans than for other populations
Native Americans were the worst affected by the opiate crisis of any population in the United States. The percentage of overdoses per capita in this group is higher than in all other population groups, the Tribal Leadership Committee states in the submitted documents
Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, and the other two companies in the agreement – AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health – previously agreed to a $26 billion global settlement in the highly addictive painkiller cases. The claiming indigenous peoples have yet to approve the deal, their law firm says This initial settlement proposal is “a critical first step toward some measure of justice for the nations and communities in the United States that started the opioid epidemic,” said Tara Sutton, a lawyer for Robins Kaplan’s office
Douglas Yankton, president of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, said the settlement money will “help fund critical, reservation-based, culture-aligned services for the treatment of pain medication addiction.”
Steven Skikos, a lawyer representing the indigenous peoples, told AFP the group will also bring claims against other drug manufacturers