Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Settle New York Opioid Lawsuit : Reports

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle opioid lawsuits filed in New York accusing the company of mishandling the highly addictive painkillers, according to several reports citing people familiar with the matter.

The settlement resolves cases brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and two Long Island counties that were set to go to trial next week, the reports said.

Johnson & Johnson's New York deal removes it from an upcoming trial on Long Island but not from the rest of the cases it faces nationwide, including an ongoing trial in California, the reports said.

As part of the New York settlement, the drugmaker has agreed to stop selling opioids nationwide.

The opioid crisis refers to the extensive overuse of opioid medications, both from medical prescriptions and from illegal sources. The crisis began in the United States in the late 1990s, when opioids were increasingly prescribed for pain management and resulted in a rise in overall opioid use throughout subsequent years.

From 1999 to 2017, more than 399,000 people reportedly died from drug overdoses that involved prescription and illicit opioids.

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