Orange County settles opioid lawsuit with Johnson and Johnson

Goshen. The county could receive up to $3 million if other counties across the state settle their cases with the opioid manufacturer. The funding will be used to fight opioid abuse.

| 07 Sep 2021 | 02:57

    Orange County will receive a minimum of $1,292,727.87 as part of a statewide settlement of claims against Johnson & Johnson/Janssen with the potential to receive as much as $3,016,936.42 if counties across the State likewise settle their cases with Johnson & Johnson.

    County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus directed the county attorney in late 2016 to take steps to sue various opioid manufacturers/distributors. Orange County became the fourth of New York’s 57 counties (outside of New York City) to commence action against opioid manufacturers in May 2017, joining with Suffolk, Erie and Broome counties.

    The funding, when finalized, will largely be directed to fighting opioid abuse.

    “Opioid manufacturers and distributors knowingly allowed people to become addicted to their drugs, causing rather than reducing pain to families, communities, and the patients themselves,” Neuhaus said in the press release announcing the settlement. “These funds will not bring back loved ones lost to the opioid epidemic but will hopefully assist others in getting help with their opioid addictions.”

    The funding is part of a $98 million settlement that Johnson & Johnson/Janssen reached in New York State to finalize litigation pertaining to the company’s alleged role in the increased use and abuse of opioids. The drugs have been blamed for overdose deaths. Orange County had 121 opioid-related fatalities in 2020 and 69 this year.

    “These funds can help us save lives,” said Orange County Legislator Janet Sutherland, the chairperson of the Legislature’s Opioid Addiction Committee. “Working closely with County leadership and key staff, we can provide funding for mental health and addiction programs and preventive efforts. In addition, we will continue to work with non-profits and physicians to bring heightened awareness to this critical issue.”

    If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, the following resources are available:
    The Orange County Crisis Call Center (311): Individuals who have substance use disorders can dial 311 or 1-800-832-1200 for help and resources 24 hours a day.
    Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) of Orange County: 845-294-9000,
    Orange County Department of Mental Health: 845-291-2600,
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.
    For more information about the signs and symptoms of abuse, go to
    Free Narcan training is available in Orange County. Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a medication that can potentially save someone’s life. It reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.
    For information about Narcan training, contact the County’s Department of Mental Health at 291-2600 or