Long Island Leaders Voice Support for AG James’ Settlement with Johnson & Johnson for Role in Opioid Crisis

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

LONG ISLAND – 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 Long Island came out and expressed their support for the agreement.

“The opioid epidemic, fueled by the pharmaceutical industry, has caused incredible pain and suffering for families in my district on Long Island and countless others across New York state,” said U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice. “I commend Attorney General James for securing this historic settlement to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for their role in this crisis.”

“The opioid epidemic continues to tear apart our families and friends." said U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi. “I applaud the Attorney General’s relentless pursuit of companies that fueled the misuse of opioids in our communities and for holding them accountable.”

“While we can’t bring back the lives lost to the opioid crisis, we must hold accountable those who caused immeasurable pain in our communities,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I thank Attorney General James for her leadership in securing a settlement that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to help heal those suffering from opioids in New York state.”

“Suffolk County has been in the trenches of fighting the opioid epidemic and is seeking justice against those who caused irrevocable harm to our communities,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “I thank Attorney General James for working to reach this settlement to ensure that those who fueled this public health crisis are held accountable for their actions. This is an important step forward to deliver justice and provide assistance to the victims and their families who have been affected.”

“New Yorkers have suffered at the hands of the opioid epidemic for far too long and the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the issue,” said State Senator John E. Brooks. “If we hope to turn a corner in this battle, we must provide help for people suffering from opioid addiction while also holding those who fueled this crisis accountable. I commend Attorney General James for doing just that. By holding Johnson & Johnson to task and making them pay for their misdeeds, New York now has additional resources to help its people, and those working to deepen this crisis know the consequences that await them. Our state and country are better now because of the outcome in this case.”

“I want to thank Attorney General James for leading the fight to combat opioid addiction in New York,” said State Senator Jim Gaughran. “This settlement will help countless families get help for loved ones struggling with addiction and save lives by investing in prevention and education programs.”

“Families and communities across New York State continue to feel the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic,” said State Senator Kevin Thomas. “Drug manufacturers and distributors continuously chose to put profits over human lives, creating and prolonging this public health crisis. After years of struggle and anguish, we are finally seeing the first signs of real accountability for the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the crisis, thanks to the tireless efforts of New York Attorney General Letitia James. This landmark settlement will save countless lives across the nation, and deliver crucial funding to strengthen opioid prevention, treatment, and education efforts across New York state. I thank Attorney General James for her continued dedication to fighting for New Yorkers and the public good.” 

“The crisis of addiction affects every family, school, and community on Long Island, leaving profound devastation in its wake, and today we understand that this crisis has been heavily fueled by greedy corporations that put profits ahead of people’s lives by pushing highly addictive opioid drugs on patients who were misled about the safety of what they were prescribed,” said State Senator Anna M. Kaplan. “Our Attorney General Letitia James has been relentless in her effort to hold these companies accountable for what they’ve done to our communities and our families, and I applaud her historic settlement with Johnson & Johnson this week that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars back to New York to fund critically needed treatment and prevention services for struggling New Yorkers.”

“I applaud Attorney General James' strong leadership in reaching a $230 million settlement for opioid treatment and prevention from Johnson & Johnson — one of the companies which fueled the opioid epidemic through ruthless business practices,” said State Assemblymember Steve Englebright. “Through this settlement and securing the end of J&J's manufacture and distribution of all opioids, Attorney General James has not only held this company accountable but has also helped to prevent further devastation of lives in communities across New York state.”

“Communities here on Long Island and around New York have been devastated by the opioid epidemic,” said State Assemblymember Phil Ramos. “Attorney General James’ successful work to secure hundreds of millions of dollars for treatment, abatement, and prevention of opioid addiction is a historic win for New York state. I was proud to vote for enabling legislation that will drive this money directly toward treatment and abatement, instead of the General Fund, and I look forward to continuing to partner with Attorney General James on this important issue.”

“I commend the outstanding work by New York Attorney General Letitia James and her entire team,” said State Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine. “This outcome sends the message that our government officials are doing everything within their power to address the opioid epidemic which has sadly claimed the lives of so many Americans including thousands from here on Long Island.”

“New York state has been deeply impacted by opioid use and abuse,” said State Assemblymember Taylor Darling. “Today New York made a great stride towards ending the opioid epidemic. New York Attorney General Letitia James and her team worked hard for this win. This settlement will help to fund prevention, education, and treatment programs that will help all of Long Island heal and rebuild.”

“For the countless families who have suffered the tragic loss of losing loved ones to opioid addiction, I commend Attorney General James for not only negotiating the largest settlement that New York state has ever received but also that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries agreed to no longer sell opioids,” said State Assemblymember Judy Griffin. “Attorney General Tish James fought diligently for Johnson & Johnson to pay $229,862,769.25 in the settlement. Once the legislation that establishes an Opioid Settlement Fund that was passed in June is signed by the Governor, Johnson & Johnson will pay $132 million into the fund by February 2022. Although this news may be bittersweet for some families this settlement will make a profound impact on all those individuals and their families suffering from the ramifications of opioid addiction.”

“I want to thank Attorney General James for her hard work to secure this landmark settlement,” said State Assemblymember Gina Sillitti. “Opioid addiction has devastated too many families in New York, but the funds secured in this settlement will save lives.” 

“Attorney General James should be commended for her aggressive posture and no nonsense position in this historical settlement,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “Not only did she guarantee over $230 million that will go directly to treatment, prevention, education and other forms of abatement instead of the state's general fund, but she sent a clear message that those who created this generational disaster will suffer the consequences of their actions.  Thank God for Attorney General James who never backs down and delivers for New Yorkers.”

“The opioid crisis is unparalleled in American history, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of our neighbors and changing families and communities forever,” said Jeffrey L. Reynolds, president & CEO, Family and Children's Association. “While holding those responsible for the damage — purveyors like Johnson & Johnson — won't bring back those we have lost, settlement proceeds can be used for services that will help heal families impacted by the crisis as well as those sick and suffering with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Dollars spent on prevention now will help us stem the tide of addiction and overdoses and counteract some of the dangerous messages advanced for decades by opioid manufacturers and distributors. We thank Attorney General James and her staff for their work in securing this settlement, for holding the opioid industry accountable and for doing so in honor of every family in New York impacted by the opioid crisis.”

“At a time when COVID-19 has resulted in significantly higher levels of substance use and overdoses, this settlement is the first step in giving providers the needed resources to bring equity of access to people struggling with opioid addictions — especially many low-income residents who lack the financial resources to engage in treatment.” said Jeffrey Friedman, CEO, Central Nassau Guidance. “We are grateful to New York Attorney General Letitia James and her staff for holding opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic in our community.”  

“The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) commends New York Attorney General Letitia James for her professional pursuit of accountability and justice for thousands of New Yorkers adversely impacted by the opioid pandemic,” said Steve Chassman, executive director, LICADD. “Too many lives and families have been devastated by the unscrupulous practices and negligent misinformation disseminated by opioid producing pharmaceutical companies. These are the tragic outcomes when financial gains are prioritized against the greater interest of public health. LICADD is determined to see these settlement monies be geared toward prevention education, treatment and aftercare programs for those individuals and families struggling with the disease of substance use disorders. Thank you, Attorney General James!”