July 22, 2024 4:51 am

Local News

Michigan Secures $338M Settlement From Walgreens in Opioid Lawsuit

Credit: iStock

by Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance

The state of Michigan asserted in a lawsuit against Walgreens that the company failed to monitor and prevent suspicious opioid orders from being dispensed. Although Walgreens denies any wrongdoing, the company has agreed to settle for $338 million to be paid out to Michigan over the next two decades, the Michigan Attorney General’s office announced Monday.

From January 2020 to November 2022, 8,366 people died of drug overdoses in Michigan, which averages to about eight people a day, according to state health department data.

Michigan sued Walgreens not as a pharmaceutical chain, but as a drug dealer under the Drug Dealer Liability Act, demanding that it be held liable for the harm caused to the state by endangering human life.

Walgreens denies the State of Michigan’s claims that Walgreens was negligent in preventing fraudulent opioid prescriptions from getting filled and maintains it could defend against claims of wrongdoing in a trial, the settlement states.

The payments will be provided over the next 18 years.

Attorney General Dana Nessel has gone after multiple companies responsible for the production and distribution of opioid medications filing litigation saying the companies failed to perform due diligence to prevent illegal activity.

“The opioid epidemic was born, in part, out of a concert of action by many large corporations who reaped incredible profits as a result,” Nessel said in a news release Monday. “It is rewarding to both hold them accountable and secure much needed funding for the continued suffering of those with opioid-use disorder.” 

Michigan has secured several settlements with manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and pharmacies such as Walmart.

This story was written by Anna Liz Nichols, a reporter for the Michigan Advance, where this story first appeared.

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.