Attorney General Todd Rokita attended the New Haven City Council meeting Tuesday to thank Mayor Steve McMichael and council members for opting into the state’s settlement with three major pharmaceutical distributors and a manufacturer/marketer of opioids.
News release from Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita:
Attorney General Todd Rokita commends New Haven officials for opting into state opioid settlement
New Haven, Indiana (September 7, 2021) — Attorney General Todd Rokita attended the New Haven City Council meeting Tuesday to thank Mayor Steve McMichael and council members for opting into the state’s settlement with three major pharmaceutical distributors and a manufacturer/marketer of opioids.
“The real beneficiaries of this decision will be the residents of New Haven,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The state settlement will bring a significant amount of money directly to impacted communities in Indiana to support programs to help those struggling with addiction.”
The Office of the Attorney General worked directly with elected members of the Indiana General Assembly to create a statutory structure that will efficiently distribute this funding right to local communities. The funds will support local law enforcement efforts, drug task forces, regional treatment hubs, and early intervention and crisis support, among other important programs.
Indiana’s share of the $26 billion national settlement is $508 million. At least 70% of the total will be used for opioid abatement efforts in local communities. The majority of Indiana communities — more than 580 — elected to join the state’s settlement.
“I remain concerned that some communities around the state have lost out because private attorneys from large national firms persuaded them not to participate in the state settlement,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Too many of those lawyers were more interested in collecting large fees representing local governments in go-it-alone lawsuits than doing what is truly in Hoosiers’ best interests.”
Opting out of the state settlement could possibly leave communities to fight against massive corporations and their lawyers for years, or even decades, with no guarantee of any payout. Even if an opt-out community wins its own independent settlement after years of backlog and the risk these companies may file bankruptcy, it could be stuck paying lawyer fees out of taxpayer funds if unrestricted settlement funds are insufficient to cover the fees.
“The scourge of addiction has devastated communities in Indiana, claiming far too many lives,” Attorney General Rokita said. “When I took office, I vowed to continue Indiana’s fight to hold accountable those responsible for turbocharging the opioid epidemic. I believe this settlement helps deliver the justice our communities deserve.”