Shelby County Accepts Opioid Settlement – Tennessee Lookout

The Shelby County Commission voted to accept $20 million in partial payments as part of the statewide effort to fight the opioid epidemic.

In March 2021, Memphis city officials filed a federal lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in promoting the opioid influx that has significantly impacted Shelby County communities.

The Tennessee Department of Health classified Shelby County as a high-impact area where opioid overdoses caused more deaths than fatal car accidents in 2017, the authorities said Shelby County Health Department.

In doing so, Shelby County joined other local governments in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors. In May 2021, Governor Bill Lee signed into law a plan to allocate funds received by Tennessee local governments from opioid litigation into a unified account.

“I think that’s favorable to the citizens of Shelby County,” said Commissioner Willie F. Brooks.

“I think we have more settlements ahead of us as well. This is just the beginning,” he added.

The defendants in the lawsuit settled a $26 billion settlement Attorney General Herbert Slatery Announced an agreement between state and local governments and three major drug distributors — Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen — to settle legal disputes over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid crisis.

Tennessee joined the multi-state settlement along with 47 states and a total of 4,000 lawsuits.

Since then, seven counties in East Tennessee and one city in West Tennessee have separate lawsuits filed against consulting firm McKinsey & Co. for its role in the opioid crisis.

The compensation funds will go into the Tennessee State Subdivision’s Opioid Control Agreement for state and local governments to use for opioid control programs.

The Shelby County Commissioners will vote again on the resolution during the full Shelby County Commission session on Jan. 24.

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