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AG Morrisey opposes opioid settlement

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reiterated his strong opposition to a nationwide opioid settlement Wednesday that he said shortchanges the state of West Virginia and her counties and municipalities.

Morrisey contends the proposed settlement with three distributors and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson favors the nation’s largest states by distributing settlement proceeds largely based upon population as opposed to the intensity of the opioid crisis.

“West Virginia is a resounding no on these agreements and will continue to litigate and negotiate outside the framework of today’s announcement,” Morrisey said Wednesday.

“All of our actions and today’s opposition have positioned the state of West Virginia and local governments to fare very well,” he added Wednesday. “We have expressly carved the counties and municipalities out and positioned them and our Office to maximize a recovery that is based upon the severity of the harm imposed on West Virginians. I will keep fighting to protect West Virginia and will not allow larger states to dictate how we hold defendants accountable for their actions.”

Morrisey holds a similar position in continued negotiations involving the bankruptcy of opioid maker Purdue Pharma. He will argue in opposition to Purdue’s bankruptcy plan next month in New York.

Morrisey’s active lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson are among three others against opioid makers, as well as cases filed against four national chain distributors.

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