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Ferry could get $60K from settlement

MARTINS FERRY — The city of Martins Ferry plans to go after its “fair share” of an opioid-related lawsuit settlement, said Rick Rodgers, president of Martins Ferry City Council.

Rodgers said council held a special meeting this week to approve a resolution related to the settlement money.

“It allows our attorney to go after our share of the settlement for our city — roughly, about $60,000,” he said. “We’ve not seen any guidelines on how it can be used. We’re just trying to get our fair share of the pie.”

Another local city decided to participate in this same lawsuit this week — St. Clairsville. Officials in that city said joining the OneOhio settlement would allow St. Clairsville to receive at least $26,000. St. Clairsville Law Director Elizabeth Glick said a certain percentage of municipalities need to participate before a settlement can be made.

“On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the parties in the National Prescription Opioid Litigation reached a settlement to resolve all opioid litigation brought by states and local political subdivisions against certain pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers,” according to Recovery Ohio.

“The settlement will provide funds to states and local subdivisions to help abate the on-going opioid epidemic. Ohio is participating in the settlement, thus making local governments eligible to receive these funds.”

According to Recovery Ohio, if a local government wanted to be a part of the settlement, they need to act by Friday.

“In 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost launched the OneOhio plan, a mechanism to distribute opioid litigation settlement funds to local governments. The OneOhio plan also outlines how the settlement funds can be used. Local governments have the option to participate in the OneOhio plan,” the site notes.

The suit names three major distributors of opioids — McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen — and a manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company Johnson & Johnson in the suit.

Staff Writer Robert DeFrank contributed to this report.

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