Attorney General Ford’s Statement Regarding Recently Proposed Opioid Settlement with Distributors

July 21, 2021

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced his support for states that are considering settling with opioid distributors and an opioid manufacturer, but he stopped short of joining the proposed settlement, pending further examination and consideration of the terms of the settlement to ascertain whether they best serve the interests of the State of Nevada.

Nevada continues to be one of the hardest-hit states by the opioid pandemic, and Nevadans have been needlessly dying for years at the hands of the defendants responsible for the opioid crisis. The defendants’ misconduct has imposed an enormous burden on state and local resources to remedy the opioid crisis and address the resulting death, injury and addiction of thousands of Nevadans.

“As Nevada’s Attorney General, it is my job to look out for Nevada families, and I will not agree to a settlement until I am convinced its terms achieve justice for our state and the countless Nevada families harmed by the opioid epidemic,” said AG Ford. “Accordingly, while I support our sister states in their efforts to resolve their litigation with Johnson & Johnson and the distributors, my team and I will continue analyzing the terms of this settlement with the interests of Nevadans in mind. Any settlement must adequately address Nevada’s unique harms. Indeed, the defendants owe the State of Nevada and its local governments an amount that will help Nevada remediate the impact of the opioid epidemic and stop the continued loss of lives.”

In this regard, and to promote resolution of pending opioid litigation, AG Ford has been working with Nevada counties and litigating cities to develop a statewide agreement for the allocation of opioid recoveries. This agreement provides a mechanism for distributions from the Purdue bankruptcy and other opioid-related settlements to be equitably allocated among Nevada and its local governments based upon their specific harms. 

Pending this Office’s analysis of the settlement agreement, Nevada and its local governments will continue their individual lawsuits to bring these defendants to justice. The statewide agreement mentioned above, however, will empower Nevada to continue discussions with defendants who want to do the right thing and settle with Nevada, its counties and litigating cities and to begin the much-needed process of redressing the impact of the opioid epidemic across the entire state.