Capital Region Leaders Voice Support for AG James’ Settlement with Johnson & Johnson for Role in Opioid Crisis

Elected Officials and Advocates Across Capital Region Praise AG’s
Settlement and Continued Commitment to Ending the Opioid Crisis

CAPITAL REGION – After New York Attorney General Letitia James announced an agreement this past weekend with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that will deliver up to $230 million to New York state — the largest monetary settlement ever secured by Attorney General James — and bar the company and all of its subsidiaries, predecessors, and successors from manufacturing or selling opioids anywhere in the nation, elected officials and community leaders across the Capital Region came out and expressed their support for the agreement.

“Families across New York have been devastated by the opioid epidemic and Attorney General James has secured an important victory for those who have been impacted,” said State Senator Sue Serino. “It is critical that this money be directed immediately to fund services they need to get on, and stay on, the road to recovery. We urge the Governor to sign the bill into law today to ensure that funding from settlements like this are utilized fully to combat the opioid epidemic.” 

“The creation of the Opioid Settlement Fund is critical at this time not only because New York Attorney General James is settling these cases but more importantly due to the number of deaths from Opioid/Heroin abuse continuing to rise at astronomical rates,” said State Assemblymember John T. McDonald. “I co-sponsored this legislation to make sure that funding for education, treatment, and recovery are the main use of the settlement funds that the New York Attorney General is securing for New York. Far too often in New York, funds that are intended for one purpose have traditionally strayed from said purpose. That is why this legislation needs to be signed into the law today to address the Opioid /Heroin crisis and to reinforce accountability and transparency in government.” 

“I thank and congratulate the Attorney General on securing a significant settlement with one of the major opioid manufacturers and distributors in this country,” said State Assemblymember Carrie Woerner. “I encourage the Governor to swiftly sign into law A6395/S7194 which will ensure that these funds can only be used to prevent future addictions, support people in their recovery, and help communities heal. By signing the Opioid Settlement Fund legislation into law this week, the Governor will ensure that significantly more of the monies agreed to will come to the state, and be put to use in our communities, in this fiscal year.” 

“Thanks to the leadership provided by Attorney General Letitia James, these funds, generated by a settlement with Johnson & Johnson, could be used by New York state to address the pain and suffering experienced by so many families and communities,” said John Coppola, Executive Director NY Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers (ASAP). “It is critical that Governor Cuomo sign the legislation unanimously passed by both the New York State Senate and Assembly that will ensure that these settlement funds are spent in a manner intended by the court and desired by the individuals and families impacted by addiction, overdose, and death." 

“We are so grateful for the consistent and tenacious effort brought forth by the state Attorney General, Letitia James, followed by the Assembly and the Senate in hearing the recovery community throughout the litigation process,” said Dr. Angelia Smith Wilson, executive director, Friends of Recovery New York. “We are beyond pleased the New York state recovery community (comprised of people with lived experience, family members in recovery, and family members who has lost loved ones) can begin to be at peace with the recent opioid settlements. We are confident that the Governor will sign the legislation to ensure the necessary steps happen as quickly as possible, so that no more lives are devastated by the opioid epidemic.”