Montgomery County has received more than $6.3 million in an opioid lawsuit settlement with Meijer, Inc., according to the county prosecutor’s office.
“This settlement with defendant Meijer will immediately provide Montgomery County and local jurisdictions funds that can be used for drug treatment and prevention programs, public education, and more,” said Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.
The total amount of the settlement was $35 million and includes 46 other jurisdictions.
Montgomery County’s portion of the settlement came to the county last week following Meijer, Inc. entering into the agreement without admitting any wrongdoing, according to the prosecutor’s office.
In July 2018, Heck and the law firm Motley Rice filed lawsuits on behalf of the Montgomery County Commission against various opioid manufacturers and distributors.
The purpose of the lawsuits was to “hold these companies accountable for their actions and to receive funds to help abate the damage caused by the opioid crisis,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
Retail pharmacy defendants were added to the litigation in 2021 as part of a combined multi-district litigation.
Montgomery County’s settlement also means that an additional $675,000 will be placed into a “Common Benefit Fund” to be used by other jurisdictions in Montgomery County in dealing with the effects of the opioid crisis, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“The opioid crisis affected Montgomery County in profound ways. I am pleased that working alongside the Board of County Commissioners, we were able to reach this settlement,” Heck said. “This will benefit the citizens of Montgomery County in combatting and recovering from opioid addiction.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge said that the county has made “positive steps” toward prevention and crisis intervention, pointing to the opening of the Montgomery County Crisis Receiving Center last month.
“This settlement will help our county and its jurisdictions set up more supports to combat opioid abuse and repair families affected by this epidemic,” she said in a prosecutor’s office press release.
Additional litigation against the remaining defendants is ongoing.