Northport hosts emergency meeting, accepts opioid lawsuit funds

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Northport on Monday accepted its share of a statewide settlement against a drug maker for its involvement in Alabama’s opioid crisis.

The $25 million settlement in Alabama comes from Endo Health Solutions, which was included in a lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. Another party in the lawsuit, McKesson, has not yet reached a settlement with the state, and a trial date is set for April 15, 2022.

There are other lawsuits against companies including Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt and Insys, all seeking damages for the companies’ involvement in the widespread opioid crisis.

In the $25 million Endo Health Solutions settlement, the state is getting $15 million and the rest is being split between Alabama’s cities and counties. In Northport’s case, it works out to a little more than $50,000 minus attorney’s fees, said Northport City Attorney Ron Davis.

“We think Northport’s share will be slightly in excess of $56,000,” Davis said. “We would hope to net something in the neighborhood of $40,000 for this one settlement.”

The specially called meeting Monday ensured the city can collect its share of the money, which was divided among counties and cities based on population, opioid deaths and other data, Davis said.

But the money can’t be used for anything the city wants, he said. Instead, it will be used for opioid addiction prevention and to reimburse the city for opioid crisis-related expenses like first responders and treatment programs.

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