CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Following more than two years of litigation, Clearfield County District Attorney (DA) Ryan Sayers announced that his office will be receiving $561,000 from his opioid lawsuit.
The proceeds from the lawsuit, which was against certain companies that were involved in driving the opioid crisis, will be distributed from a trust over the next 18 years. The companies included Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other distributors and manufacturers of the drugs involved in the opioid crisis.
Sayers joined the opioid lawsuit by filing a complaint in the spring of 2020. The DA’s office said the lawsuit was separate from that of the Clearfield County Commissioners, who are slated to receive a little more than $2.7 million, and that of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
It’s reported that pursuant to Exhibit E of the settlement agreement, the funds are to be used to provide treatment and programs for those addicted to opioids and other controlled substances. Specifically, the DA’s office said it’s required that the settlement proceeds be used for initiatives like Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), treatment for those while incarcerated, support for those in treatment and recovery, and diversionary programs in the criminal justice system (i.e. drug courts).
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“This settlement does not undo the immense harm caused by the greed of these manufacturers and distributors, and has led to a generation of people addicted to opioids and other controlled substances,” Sayers said. “However, in conjunction with law enforcement and the Commissioners, we can use these funds over the next 18 years to provide programming and assistance to those in need in Clearfield County. It is my hope that we can use part of the proceeds to start the Drug Court that our County needs, and in turn reduce the recidivism rate for those addicted to these drugs.”