Opioid settlement reached with Kroger

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 2:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - An agreement has been reached in principle with Kroger that will require the grocery chain to pay up to $1.37 billion to participating state and local governments for its role in the nationwide opioid crisis, according to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

The settlement will be paid in installments over 11 years. Miyares says Virginia’s anticipated share of the settlement could be $28 million.

The money goes to settle lawsuits alleging Kroger “failed to monitor suspicious orders of addictive pain pills that fueled the nation’s opioid crisis,” according to the Washington Post.

“The opioid crisis has tragically claimed the lives of countless innocent Virginians, and this significant settlement is another important step in the battle against this epidemic, offering aid and recovery services to those who urgently need it,” said Miyares. “This crisis has left a profound impact on so many families, and at the Office of Attorney General, we are focused on fighting this crisis in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

The agreement would only be applicable to states in which Kroger operates, under its own name and under the names of other subsidiaries. In Virginia, Kroger owns stores under the Kroger and Harris Teeter names.

In addition to the financial terms, a final settlement remains contingent on agreement on critical business practice changes, said Miyares, who said negotiations have been led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Illinois, and Virginia.

To date, Virginia’s estimated share of national investigations and litigation against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid crisis is approximately $1.1 billion.