Attorney General Ford, Nevada Leaders Announce One Nevada Agreement for the Fair Allocation of Opioid Settlement Funds


Nevada rejects multistate settlement, continues resolution discussions with opioid litigation defendants

Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced Nevada finalized an intrastate allocation agreement with all of the state’s counties and litigating cities, which will provide a mechanism for the allocation of any opioid-related settlement funds in the state. While Nevada will not be joining the recently announced multistate settlements with Johnson & Johnson’s U.S.-based Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies or numerous opioids distributors, the agreement provides the framework for any potential settlements with opioids companies in the future.

“Nevada continues to be one of the hardest-hit states by the opioid crisis, and the compensation for Nevadans must be commensurate to the harm these companies caused,” said AG Ford. “While I commend our sister states on two hard-fought multistate settlements, I will continue working toward a resolution with any defendant that more adequately addresses the devastation felt by every Nevadan who has experienced the tragedy of the opioid crisis.”

In 2020, Nevada saw a 40% increase in opioid-related overdose deaths for a total of 484 — the highest single-year death number on record for opioid-related deaths in Nevada. Economically, the opioid crisis has forced Nevada to incur dramatically increased costs of health and human services, including healthcare, child welfare, criminal justice and many other programs needed to remediate the harms, impact and risks caused by the opioid epidemic to Nevada and to its residents.   

"The emotional and economic burden of the opioid epidemic has been staggering in its effects on those across all walks of life,” said Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “Unfortunately, the proposed settlement does not go far enough in addressing this calamity. We need a solution that truly meets the needs and improves the lives of those affected in their short- and long-term recovery. Those responsible for this scourge on our society must be held accountable."

The intrastate allocation agreement will ensure that funds from any future settlements are allocated between the state and local governments as a whole in a fair and equitable manner. The statewide agreement will also allow Nevada to continue discussions with all or any of the defendants who want to do the right thing and settle with Nevada and all of its counties and litigating cities and to begin the much-needed process of redressing the impact of the opioid epidemic across the entire state.

Signatories to the agreement have expressed support for Nevada's decision to not join the proposed settlements. These include statements from the counties of Douglas, Humboldt, Mineral and Washoe, as well as the cities of North Las Vegas, West Wendover and Sparks. 

“Opioid dependency has hit every corner of our community,” said Mineral County Commissioner Christine Hoferer. “These cases are personal. We firmly believe by joining with the State of Nevada and our Nevada Counties that we have the greatest chance of achieving justice for those harmed by the opioid epidemic.”

"On Aug. 5, 2021, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with the State of Nevada and other local jurisdictions related to the allocation of any monetary recovery related to the opioid crisis,” said Douglas County Manager Patrick Cates. “Therefore, Douglas County does not intend to participate in the various multi-state settlement discussions related to the damages caused by the opioid epidemic in our community. We believe standing together with the State of Nevada and other local governments, Douglas County will be able to negotiate a more equitable settlement with the defendants."

"Local governments within the state of Nevada, as well as the state of Nevada, are unified in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic that has devastated and destroyed the lives of countless Nevadans,” said Humboldt County Commission Chairman Ron Cerri. “Through the One Nevada Agreement, we have determined a fair and equitable manner for distribution of funds necessary to address the medical, social, psychological and economic consequences of the opioid epidemic within each community in the State of Nevada. Humboldt County appreciates Attorney General Ford's decision not to participate in multi-state settlement discussions, but rather to pursue a remedy on behalf of all Nevadans through our One Nevada Agreement. Humboldt County looks forward to those responsible taking accountability for their actions and inactions and reaching a resolution so that funds can be used to provide programs and services to those directly impacted by the opioid epidemic who so desperately need them."

“The opioid epidemic has disproportionately affected the citizens of the State of Nevada generally, and Washoe County in particular,” said Washoe County Commission Chair Bob Lucey. “As reflected in the approval of the One Nevada Allocation Agreement, Washoe County supports General Ford’s efforts to negotiate a deal directly with the opioid distributors and manufacturers to address the unique and devastating effects that this epidemic has had on our community.”

“It’s no secret that Nevada is among the states that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, and the residents of North Las Vegas have seen the fallout firsthand,” said North Las Vegas City Councilman Scott Black. “This is an issue in which we all stand united, and we support Attorney General Ford’s decision not to participate in any multi-state settlement as we continue to fight for our fair share to help address this ongoing crisis.”  

"The proposed multistate settlements would be a bad deal for West Wendover as well as the State of Nevada and we fully support Attorney General Aaron Ford's decision to not participate in these settlements,” said West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona. “I want to thank General Ford for his leadership and work to ensure that West Wendover and Nevada will be properly compensated for the damage done by the reckless behavior of the pharmaceutical companies who are responsible for the opioid crisis."   

“We are devastated that Nevada is one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis,” said Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson. “The multi-state settlement formula would not account for the severe impacts the opioid crisis had on our state due to our relatively small population. We stand behind the decision not to participate in the proposed multi-state opioid settlements and believe this will empower us to negotiate more favorably. Our goal is to send a strong message and hold those who have caused so much harm accountable for their actions.”

A copy of the One Nevada Intrastate Allocation Agreement can be found here.