In advance of a federal trial scheduled to begin later this month in Cleveland, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a settlement with Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
Johnson & Johnson will make a combined $10 million settlement payment to the two counties.
According to a release from the company, the settlement "resolves all of the counties’ claims with no admission of liability and removes the Company from the federal trial scheduled to begin October 21, 2019."
In addition, Johnson & Johnson will reimburse $5 million of the counties' legal expenses, plus an additional $5.4 million in charitable contributions will be given to non-profit organizations with opioid-related programs in Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
The settlement comes as federal litigation involving cities, counties and tribal governments is being overseen by a judge in Cleveland later this month. The trial is being seen as a bellwether that could shape how other lawsuits are eventually resolved. Several drug manufacturers in addition to Johnson & Johnson have settled with the counties ahead of trial.
In August, an Oklahoma judge found that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state's opioid drug crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to help abate the problem in the coming years.
Over the past few years, nearly every state and about 2,000 local and tribal governments have sued over the toll of the opioid epidemic.