Carson City, NV –Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford,
along with all Nevada counties and cities that currently have active litigation
against opioid companies, have proposed an agreement on the allocation of funds
within the State for future opioid-related recoveries. The agreement, which
remains subject to consideration and approval of the County Commissions and
City Boards, provides a plan for how funds from any Nevada opioid-related
settlement or related bankruptcy distribution will be allocated among the State
and various local governmental entities to reduce the effects of the opioid
epidemic in the State.
“Nevada has been devastated by
the opioids epidemic, and it’s time for justice to be served and for Nevadans
to see improvement in their community,” said
Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “Opioids have
killed thousands in Nevada, and they continue to ravagethe lives of many more, creating one of the largest
public-health epidemics in the country’s history. I’m proud to work with
Nevada’s local government leaders to equitably distribute certain future
opioid-related recoveries, and my office looks forward to bringing justice on
behalf of all Nevada families affected by thisepidemic.”
The proposed agreement was
created in response to the proposed Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan scheduled to
be voted on July 14, 2021. The Purdue plan allows states and local governments
to decide for themselves how to best allocate funds from the bankruptcy. Nevada
is among a group of 15 states that negotiated improvements to the plan to
include additional funds for states, advancements in payments, and the
expansion of a document repository. The plan, once approved, will begin the
distribution of funds to assist addressing the opioid epidemic. The plan
strongly encourages states to work with local governments within their states
to reach an agreement for allocation of those funds.
The proposed agreement would
allocate opioid related recoveries between State, counties and certain cities.
If approved by the counties and cities, the agreement provides the partnership
necessary to make meaningful progress in addressing the opioid epidemic in
Nevada. Nevada has been uniquely impacted because it has been, and continues to
be, one of the hardest hit states by the opioid epidemic. It has resulted in
thousands of deaths of Nevadans and has imposed an enormous burden on State
resources needed to help thousands of addicted Nevadans. The opioid epidemic
has forced the State and its local governments to incur dramatically increased
costs, including health and human services, healthcare, child welfare, criminal
justice, and many other programs to address the impact of opioids in the State.
“Carson City looks forward to
working with the State and other local governments in Nevada to help reduce
opioid addictions in our communities,” said
Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell.
“In November of 2018, I made a
presentation to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on the opioid crisis,
including a brief overview of 28 opioid related deaths in Douglas County from
2014 through 2018,” added Douglas County
District Attorney Mark B. Jackson. “From that presentation, Douglas County
retained one of the top personal injury litigation firms in the country.
Douglas County subsequently filed a lawsuit naming numerous manufacturers and
distributors of prescription opioids, including defendant Purdue Pharma, which
is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
I was very happy to hear through recent public filings that Nevada
supports the Purdue bankruptcy plan. I look forward to bringing this matter to
the Douglas County Board ofCommissioners
at their next regularly scheduled meeting on June 15, 2021, to discuss Nevada’s
proposed allocation agreement and to seek approval of that proposed agreement.
This will be the next first step in order to set a plan in motion for the
abatement of the opioid crisis in DouglasCounty.”
“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 Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “This is a significant step in addressing the
needs and improving the lives of those affected in their short- and long-term
recovery. It’s about time that those responsible be held accountable."
Months after taking office as
Nevada’s Attorney General, AG Ford expanded Nevada’sexisting lawsuit beyond Purdueto hold multiple conspirators responsible for the
opioid crisis that killed thousands of Nevadans, including elderly and
vulnerable people, and devastated the State’s health care and public safety
systems. The expanded complaintlists
61 defendants including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Actavis Pharma, Endo
Pharmaceuticals, members of the Sackler family (who controlled Purdue Pharma),
Mallinckrodt LLC, Insys Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson
Corporation, Cardinal Health LLCs, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Walgreen
Co., Walmart Inc. and CVS Pharmacy.
In addition to the State’s
litigation, Nevada counties and cities have filed 24 lawsuits against many of
the same defendants as in the State’s litigation. The litigations seek justice
for all Nevadans, and this agreement will assist the State, counties, and
cities in potentially seeking settlements from some of those defendants to
direct funds to programs combating the opioid epidemic.
In the 2021 Legislative Session,
the Governor signed Senate Bill 390 (SB 390) into law which creates the Fund
for a Resilient Nevada. The legislation directs State recoveries to fund
evidence-based programs through the Nevada Department of Health and Human
Services. SB 390 requires the State to create a State Needs Assessment, which
identifies the critical needs for attacking the impacts and effects of opioids
statewide, and a State Plan for funding the needs assessment. SB 390 also
creates a mechanism for the State, counties and cities to work together in
developing county needs assessments and county plans that parallel the State
Needs Assessment and State Plan to bring expertise to all areas of the State
and maximize the use of all funds available to combat the opioid epidemic.