Kroger, one of the nation’s largest grocery chains, has reached a potential $1.2 billion agreement in principle to settle a majority of opioid-related lawsuits brought by states, local governments and Native American tribes.
The Associated Press reports Kroger would pay up to $1.4 billion over 11 years, including $1.2 billion for state and local governments where it operates. The settlement also includes $36 million to Native American tribes and $177 million to cover attorneys’ fees and costs.
Under the settlement, 33 states would be eligible for funds, in addition to tribes and municipalities. The company did not admit wrongdoing or liability as part of the deal. Kroger previously announced settlements with New Mexico and West Virginia.
The article notes that over the past eight years, prescription drug makers, wholesalers, consultants and pharmacies have proposed or finalized opioid settlements worth more than $50 billion in total. At least 12 of the settlements have been worth more than $1 billion. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments later this year about whether the settlement involving OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is legal.