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Johnson & Johnson settles opioid case with New York for $230 million

The company did not admit liability or wrongdoing

In this photo illustration Johnson & Johnson logo seen... Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson will pay $230 million to settle an opioid lawsuit with the state of New York, the state’s attorney general said Saturday.

According to a release from New York AG Letitia James, Johnson & Johnson “has committed to ending the manufacture and sale of all opioids and opioid products for distribution in the state of New York, as well as to no longer ship these products anywhere within the United States.”

The company said in a statement Saturday that it “made the business decision in 2020 to discontinue all of its prescription pain medications in the United States.” The settlement removes Johnson & Johnson from a trial scheduled to begin in New York on Tuesday, but not from other cases across the US, where local governments, states, and Native American tribes have sued pharmaceutical companies over the flow of opioids into their communities. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $465 million in an opioid case in Oklahoma in 2019.

“Johnson & Johnson helped fuel this fire, but today they’re committing to leaving the opioid business — not only in New York, but across the entire country,” James said in a statement. “Opioids will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States by J&J.”

The drugmaker said in its statement Saturday that the settlement was not an admission of liability or wrongdoing, and is “consistent with the terms of the previously announced $5 billion all-in settlement agreement in principle for the resolution of opioid lawsuits and claims by states, cities, counties and tribal governments.”