West Virginia Attorney General announces settlement with Rite Aid over opioid control

Gavel and scales of justice
Gavel and scales of justice(MGN)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDBJ) - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Thursday a settlement with Rite Aid that may add $30 million to resolve a lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges the pharmacy chain failed to maintain effective controls against diversion. The lawsuit alleged the chain contributed to an oversupply of opioids in West Virginia, which caused “significant losses through their past and ongoing medical treatment costs, including for minors born addicted to opioids, rehabilitation costs, naloxone costs, medical examiner expenses, self-funded state insurance costs and other forms of losses to address opioid-related afflictions and loss of lives.”

Attorney General Morrisey says this settlement and others will provide significant help to those most affected by the opioid crisis. “Money will not bring back the lives lost from this epidemic, but we are looking for accountability.”

The Office of the Attorney General says the money from all opioid settlements will be distributed under the terms of the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU was announced in mid-February and it is an agreement with cities and counties on how future settlement dollars would be used to abate the opioid crisis throughout the state.

The Rite Aid lawsuit has been settled, but more litigation against the remaining pharmacy defendants will continue in the Mass Litigation Panel with a trial date in September.

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