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Jamestown to participate in opioid settlement agreements

At the Thursday, Dec. 16, Finance and Legal Committee meeting, Abbagail Geroux, assistant city attorney, updated the committee about a settlement agreement that is being considered with Johnson & Johnson for its role in the opioid epidemic.

JSSP City News

The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved having the city participate in opioid settlement agreements and authorized Mayor Dwaine Heinrich to sign them.

Councilman David Schloegel was not present at the City Council’s special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 22.

At the Dec. 16 Finance and Legal Committee meeting, Abbagail Geroux, assistant city attorney, updated the committee about a settlement agreement that is being considered with Johnson & Johnson for its role in the opioid epidemic. The settlement agreement creates funds that would be available to political subdivisions in states that participate in the settlement.

Geroux said each state would receive an allocated portion of a $3 billion settlement.

Heinrich said the North Dakota state and political subdivisions opioid memorandum of understanding did not have to be signed.

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“What we would really be doing is agreeing to the settlement,” he said. “We really don’t know the exact dollar amount that we would be receiving and it would be paid over an 18-year period.”

The settlements that were approved for the city to participate in include a distributor settlement involving McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. and the Janssen settlement. Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

The city of Jamestown could receive funds that the city could use to remediate the opioid crisis. Heinrich said whatever funds are received will not be a significant amount of money and will need to be spent on specific purposes dealing with opioid or other drug issues.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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