Opioid settlement still elusive as some lawyers criticize it

Opioid settlement still elusive as some lawyers criticize it
In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Patrick Morrisey speaks to reporters after a debate in Morgantown, W.Va. In a statement Friday, Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson “is way too low.” (Source: AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

(AP) - Lawyers for some state and local governments say the deal being offered by companies in a sweeping national settlement over the toll of opioids isn’t enough.

Four months after a handful of states agreed to a structure for a deal, it’s proving to be a tough sell to their counterparts across the country.

A group of lawyers for local governments says the offer is inadequate even after a group of companies led by the nation’s three largest drug distributors have increased their proposed contributions.

Twenty-one state attorneys general signed a letter last week saying they opposed the current $18 billion deal, saying it’s not enough, Business Insider reported.

North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee helped create the deal being rejected by the other states.

Pressure is mounting to reach a nationwide deal with a trial scheduled to start in New York next month.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.