Rokita thanks New Haven officials at City Council meeting for opting into state’s opioid settlement

Local News

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) — Attorney General Todd Rokita attended the New Haven City Council meeting Tuesday to thank Mayor Steve McMichael and council members for opting into the state’s settlement with three major pharmaceutical distributors and a manufacturer/marketer of opioids.

“The real beneficiaries of this decision will be the residents of New Haven,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The state settlement will bring a significant amount of money directly to impacted communities in Indiana to support programs to help those struggling with addiction.”

The Office of the Attorney General worked with elected members of the Indiana General Assembly to create a statutory structure that will efficiently distribute this funding to local communities, the office said. The funds will support law enforcement efforts, drug task forces, regional treatment hubs and early intervention and crisis support, among other important programs.

Indiana’s share of the $26 billion national settlement is $508 million. The office said at least 70% of the total will be used for opioid abatement efforts in local communities. More than 580 Indiana communities have elected to join the state’s settlement.

“I remain concerned that some communities around the state have lost out because private attorneys from large national firms persuaded them not to participate in the state settlement,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Too many of those lawyers were more interested in collecting large fees representing local governments in go-it-alone lawsuits than doing what is truly in Hoosiers’ best interests.”

Opting out of the state settlement could possibly leave communities to fight against massive corporations and their lawyers for years, or even decades, with no guarantee of any payout, the office said. If an opt-out community wins its own independent settlement, there’s a risk that these companies may file bankruptcy.

“The scourge of addiction has devastated communities in Indiana, claiming far too many lives,” Attorney General Rokita said. “When I took office, I vowed to continue Indiana’s fight to hold accountable those responsible for turbocharging the opioid epidemic. I believe this settlement helps deliver the justice our communities deserve.” 

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