Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pharma Companies Reach Tentative $15 Million Settlement with Cuyahoga, Summit Counties

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 2:58 PM

  • Ajay Suresh/Flickr Creative Commons
In a scramble to avoid the first federal trial over the opioid epidemic, two drug companies have agreed to pay plaintiffs Cuyahoga and Summit counties a combined $15 million in lawsuit settlements.

In both cases, the charges essentially boil down to the pharmaceutical companies Endo and Allergan downplaying the risks of the potent drugs and turning a blind eye to mishandling of the drug, including wrongfully shipped suspicious orders.

Endo is known for manufacturing the powerful opioid Opana that was removed from the market in 2017 following pressure from the FDA. According to a Tuesday press release, Endo has agreed in principle to pay the counties $10 million — the estimated cost of trial — as well as $1 million in free blood pressure medicines. According to news first published Monday in the The Wall Street Journal, opioid-producer Allergan has tentatively agreed to pay the counties $5 million to settle charges over its branded opioids.

Ohio has become known an an epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and Northeast Ohio along with the rest of the state has been wrecked by the influx of opioid-related deaths in recent years.

Endo and Allergan were selected among 2,000 consolidated lawsuits to undergo the first test, or bellwether, trial relating to drug companies' responsibility in the epidemic. While a trial is still scheduled for Oct. 21 in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, these tentative settlements diminish the possibility of the two companies being held accountable in federal court proceedings.

Frank Gallucci, an attorney representing Cuyahoga County, told that both the Cuyahoga and Summit County Councils and the boards of both drug companies still need to approve settlements in order to avoid the impending October trial.

Unsurprisingly, neither Endo nor Allegan has accepted responsibility or admitted fault for their role in perpetuating the opioid epidemic.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation