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Williamson County approves Johnson & Johnson opioid settlement

The settlement will bring $314,000 directly to the county along with access to a regional program fund of more than $6.3 million.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — On Tuesday, the Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a settlement in the County's opioid litigation against Johnson & Johnson. 

The settlement will bring $314,000 to the County this year in recognition of the County's past opioid remediation. This also gives the County access to regional abatement program funds of more than $6.3 millions.

The County filed a claim against the giant pharmaceutical manufacturer and other defendants in 2018 for "bringing an oversupply of opioids" into the Central Texas county, according to a release from Williamson County.

“We are happy to see money begin to come in so we can provide more help to residents of Williamson County in combatting the opioid epidemic,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said. “Williamson County was a driving force for the statewide settlement, and we expect this to be the first of multiple settlements with other defendants that focus on Texas and address needs within Williamson County.”

Williamson County said it worked alongside Attorney General Ken Paxton to secure a settlement of more than $291 million for the state of Texas to "resolve opioid related claims." The county said most of the settlement will be sued for opioid abatement programs throughout the state that will be overseen by the Texas Opioid Council. 

Paxton announced the statewide settlement last week, saying the the agreement would mostly follow the terms of the Global Prescription Opioid Settlement Agreement that was announced in July 2021.

In the release announcing the commissioner court's approval, Gravell highlighted the work the county is already doing to combat the opioid crisis.

“WilCo’s Mobile Outreach Team is gaining national attention through its work to identify those at risk of opioid overdose and provide Narcan,” he said.

Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal medication that can reverse a fentanyl overdose if administered in a timely manner following the overdose. Texas law allows anyone to possess and administer naloxone in a presumed opioid overdose.

“We will continue to do all we can to help families find treatment for their loved ones and to help save lives,” Gravell said.

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