Opioid Distributors Agree To Pay $518 Million To Washington State

On May 3, 2022, the Washington State Attorney General announced a resolution-in-principle with three opioid distributors who agreed to pay a total of $518 million, with more than $476 million directed toward addressing the opioid epidemic, six months after Washington State brought the three largest distributors of prescription opioids to trial.

The Washington Attorney General’s trial against McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. began in King County Superior Court on November 15, 2021, more than two years after the lawsuit was filed against the three large corporations for helping to fuel the opioid epidemic.

The Washington Attorney General had rejected to participate in a nationwide settlement with the three opioid distributors and chose to have a trial instead. As a result Washington will receive $46 million in additional resources from the distributors to provide substance abuse treatment and support other strategies to address the opioid crisis, including housing and other wrap-around services.

In announcing the proposed settlement, the Washington Attorney General stated, “We could have joined the overwhelming majority of states and settled with the the largest opioid distributors, but we chose to fight them in court instead. That decision to take them to court will result in significant additional resources for Washington to combat the opioid epidemic. These resources will increase prevention efforts and help Washingtonians in need, including providing necessary wrap-around services for those experiencing homelessness as a result of their substance abuse disorder. This is a historic resolution — one of the largest in state history. We forced these companies to stand trial for their conduct. Washingtonians will receive approximately one half billion dollars to combat the opioid epidemic — including $46 million more than Washington would have received if we had accepted the national settlement last year.”

In March 2022, the Washington Attorney General announced that Washington will receive $183 million to address the opioid crisis as a result of his office successfully leading the challenge to the Purdue bankruptcy plan — $113 million more than Washington would have received under the original deal. The Washington Attorney General declined last year to settle with Johnson & Johnson and trial in that case is scheduled for September 2022.

In recent years, the Washington Attorney General’s Office has recovered a total of $714.5 million from opioid litigation. This total includes $183 million in recoveries from Purdue Pharma and $13.5 million from McKinsey to address harms from the opioid crisis.


Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before. The new data documents that estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before. Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in the 12-month period ending in April 2021.


If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of opioids in Washington State or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Washington medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your opioid claim for you and represent you or your loved one in an opioid case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find opioids lawyers in your U.S. state who may assist you.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 at 5:23 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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