Marshall County’s attorney Jim Clevenger discussed the opioid settlement with the County Commissioners Monday during their meeting. He said, “The Indiana General Assembly kind of put us in a tough spot the end of last year passing legislation that said if you want to participate in the attorney general’s settlement, you (Marshall County) get 15%, pay their own attorney fees and dismiss all other claims. We (the county) said no we aren’t going to do that.”
The state statute was revised and passed by both houses and was waiting for the governor’s signature.
Clevenger said once the revised legislation is signed the county can opt back in and will get 15% unrestricted and 35% restricted funds meaning the county will have to provide some programing opportunities. The county can continue with their other claims against the pharmacies and will only have to pay attorney fees at 8.7% instead of the 33% that they contracted Cohen & Malad with.
The County attorney said, “I would highly recommend the county opt back in since the legislation has changed.” He went on to say he believes Marshall County’s share from McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health and AmericsourceBergen, the distributors of opioids, have contributed $26 billion in their global settlement. Marshall County’s share would be $551,087.66. The first payment will be in April of this year. From Johnson & Johnson, a manufacture of opioids the county would receive $129,229.53.
Clevenger said, “From those four defendants the county would receive $680,317.19. You will have to pay the attorneys the 8.7% from the funds collected. That total would be $59,187 making the county net profit $621,129.59. The county attorney cautioned that 70% of the funds will be restricted and 30% will be unrestricted.
Before the change in legislation the county would have received after payment of the attorney fees, $136,000.
The county will work with the Marshall County Health Department to figure out abatement programs and education programs for the restricted funds.
Thinking the county doesn’t have much of a problem, Clevenger checked with the Health Department and found out there were at least 15 overdose deaths last year and 12 overdose deaths in 2020.
It is anticipated the county will be receiving additional funds from PurduePharma and claims against the pharmacies.
The Marshall County Commissioners signed all the paperwork required to opt back into the state’s opioid settlement.