Currently, New York State, along with Nassau and Suffolk Counties are suing several opioid manufacturers in a class action lawsuit in federal court in Central Islip. The trial, which began this week, is to determine the liability of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in the opioid crisis that has taken so many lives on Long Island.
Until recently, Johnson & Johnson and many pharmacy chains were also part of the lawsuit, but these parties agreed to settle so as not to advance to trial. These settlements must be approved by the Nassau and Suffolk County legislatures.
In preparation for the settlements that are set to be paid out to the county, the Nassau County Legislature announced at a press conference on June 29th new legislation that will create a special revenue fund. This fund will make sure all of the revenue stemming from the settlements will be put towards ending the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic in Nassau County.
Though the exact amount of the settlement money is not yet known, Nassau is expecting to receive millions of dollars in payments.
“Today’s creation of the Special Revenue Fund will bring Nassau County one step closer to ending the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic,” Health Committee Chairwoman and Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker said. “These much needed funds will go towards educational programs, programs to help those who are currently addicted, and programs to help get these opioids off of our streets. We want to send a clear message to the residents of Nassau county that we are committed to doing everything in our power to take on these drugs that have ruined our communities, broken up families, and continue to put our children in harm’s way,” stated Legislator Walker.