Local leaders eye Cleveland’s landmark $260 million opioid settlement

Ohio settlement could set precedent

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Four companies reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties Monday in a landmark opioid trial.

“It's an extremely complex case but what comes out of Cleveland and Summit County is the ability to get a settlement done is real,” Newtown Police Chief and Hamilton County Heroin Coalition’s Tom Synan said.

State and local governments are going up against makers and distributors of opioids, the highly addictive painkillers.

Synan confirms both the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have filed suits and Synan expects both to be offered a settlement by the companies involved.

“If we’re going to reach a settlement, we want to make sure that money goes to specific places,” Synan said. “Here in Hamilton County the Heroin Coalition is working on a specific plan—this x amount of money would go here—and we’re going to base it off of research and data. This isn’t something we’re making up or pulling out of our sleeves.”

FOX19 NOW Legal Analyst Mark Krumbein says cities may not see the more than quarter-of-a-billion dollars as enough.

“Some people might say that’s a good amount for our city, others might say that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the devastation that’s taken place," Krumbein said.

With 2,500 lawsuits reportedly filed against three large drug distributors and one drug manufacturer, most of the cases remain unresolved.

It’s possible some may not see a dime.

“People that are really fighting for the extra dollar or want to go to trial they ultimately, if the money runs out, they may be out of luck,” Krumbein said.

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