Meyers & Flowers Partners Peter Flowers and Michael Lenert lead negotiations to secure $760 Million Illinois Opioid Allocation Agreement
Settlement funds bring treatment and recovery services to hard-hit opioid communities throughout Illinois
(Chicago, Illinois – February 25, 2021) - After many months of negotiations with the Illinois Attorney General and community leaders throughout Illinois, Peter J. Flowers and Michael W. Lenert helped finalize an intrastate opioid allocation agreement that will govern the local distribution of the historic $26 billion nationwide settlement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors - AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson - and one manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. The settlement will help bring desperately needed relief to the thousands of Illinois residents struggling with opioid addiction.
“It has been my genuine honor to work on behalf of many of the largest counties in Illinois that witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of opioids,” Flowers said. “The public health crisis plagued Illinoisians, destroying whole communities; often leading to addiction, crime and other health issues that incurred immense costs to communities trying to combat the problem. I am grateful that the defendants are being held accountable for their critical role in fueling the opioid crisis.”
The Illinois Allocation Agreement calls for the distribution of funds to every county and many cities throughout the state and places a priority on providing direct funding to the counties of Illinois hit hardest by this epidemic. Flowers and Lenert, who represent nineteen (19) counties in Illinois accounting for approximately 70% of the state’s population, helped secure the participation of each of their clients as well as dozens of communities throughout Illinois to ensure that Illinois receives its maximum $760 million share of the national settlements.
Each of the opioid distributors and Johnson & Johnson will make annual payments consisting of base and incentive payments. Initial deposits were put into escrow in 2021 and the first round of funding for many programs could be delivered as soon as May 2022 following a consent judgment within each participating state. Additional funds are expected to be received by July 2022. The national settlements also call for injunctive relief that requires the “Big Three” drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson to make significant changes to corporate practices to protect consumer health and welfare.
“This agreement provides urgently needed relief to our local law enforcement and healthcare workers who are forced see the trauma and loss caused by this public health crisis each and every day,” Lenert said. “While it has been an honor to represent nineteen counties throughout Illinois in securing this historic settlement, our work is not done. We will continue our tireless pursuit for justice and accountability. This is a major moment, but it is just the start.”
The historic agreement marks the culmination of four years of litigation to resolve more than 4,000 claims of state and local governments across the country. It is the second largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Litigation against opioid manufacturers and pharmacy chains continues, with several trials scheduled in 2022.
If you or a loved one may be addicted to opioids, seek help by calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 833-2FINDHELP, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
About Meyers & Flowers
Led by Illinois Super Lawyer and former President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Peter J. Flowers, our team of experienced trial attorneys and medical malpractice lawyers routinely take on large challenges and succeed. In addition to representing clients locally in Chicago and nationally in a full spectrum of cases involving catastrophic personal injuries, medical malpractice, workplace injuries and wrongful death, our attorneys have taken the lead nationally in representing clients who are victims of defective medical products. Connect with Meyers & Flowers at www.meyers-flowers.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MeyersAndFlowers/, on LinkedIn at
For more information, please contact Cameron Tanko at (630) 797-3324 or [email protected]