Bloomington leaders consider ‘opting-in’ for share of massive opioid settlement

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:23 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 NEWS) - Bloomington aldermen are expected to decide Monday night whether to become part of the nationwide settlement compensating taxpayers for costs related to the opioid epidemic.

Local governments have until January 2 to decide if they are “opting-in” on a nationwide settlement of a lawsuit with opioid distributors and manufacturers in which Illinois is likely to receive about $760 million. Participating cities and counties would get 15% of that, so Bloomington’s share would be approximately $479,000 over the life of the settlement, according to a city government news release.

In return, the city could not bring additional claims against three of the largest opioid distributors and a manufacturer. The distributors are McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource-Bergen. The manufacturer is Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

In July of 2019, the McLean County Board hired an outside legal firm to handle the county’s claims related to the epidemic. Attorney Melissa Sims and the Sanders Phillips Grossman law firm will be paid 25% of damages awarded to the county government. Bloomington was not a part of the initial settlement.

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