New York Leaders Voice Support for AG James’ Settlement with Johnson & Johnson for Role in Opioid Crisis

Federal, State, and City Elected Officials and Advocates Across New York
Praise AG’s Settlement and Continued Commitment to Ending the Opioid Crisis

NEW YORK – 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 New York came out and expressed their support for the agreement.

“The opioid epidemic has killed over 800,000 Americans over the past two decades. The companies that knowingly pumped American streets and bodies full of these deadly drugs must face accountability for their immorality and for the destruction they have wrought,” said U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler. “Johnson & Johnson, which is the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, aggressively marketed highly-addictive opioids to the public — the $230 million monetary settlement they must deliver to New York state and their commitment to cease selling opioids is a small measure of justice after decades of perpetrating harm. I applaud Attorney General James for her tenacious leadership in holding corporations like Johnson & Johnson to account.”

“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 crisis is an epidemic of unimaginable proportions and has hit close to home for countless communities around the country — it has devastated the lives of far too many families across the nation, including so many right here in New York City and around the state,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “We cannot turn back time for the families who have lost loved ones to this deadly crisis, but today’s announcement by Johnson and Johnson to cease the sale of opioids is a long-overdue first step. I applaud the continued efforts of Attorney General James to pursue justice for these hundreds of thousands of families, and everyone who will benefit from the treatment and prevention programs created by this settlement. It will take each of us working together to end this public health crisis once and for all.”

“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.”

“The opioid crisis has plagued New York for too long, leaving desperate communities and families in its wake,” said State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “This $230 million settlement is a monumental step towards finally holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their predatory behavior and directing critical resources to those who have been most affected. I thank Attorney General James for her persistent advocacy on this issue, and the Senate Democratic Conference will continue to fight this opioid scourge.”

“The $230 million agreement for treatment and prevention of the opioid crisis in New York state is an incredible milestone toward efforts to eradicate opioid addiction and end the epidemic.” said State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “This settlement, reached through the diligent work of Attorney General Letitia James and her team, will deliver resources to treat, prevent, educate, and restore communities devastated by opioids across New York state. I applaud the leadership of Attorney General James on this important issue.”

“This settlement holds Johnson & Johnson accountable for their role in fueling the opioid crisis and provides New York with the resources it needs to help those navigating the difficult journey that is substance use disorder,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I commend Attorney General James for her steadfast leadership in securing this settlement for New Yorkers and call on Governor Cuomo to swiftly sign my bill to establish an opioid fund into law. Its implementation is not only required for New York to be able to receive the settlement, but it will also ensure its use for its intended purpose — fund substance use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services. While this not bring back those who we have lost to this devastating crisis, it will help us heal and recover.”

“It's rare to find a New Yorker who has not been impacted by the opioid epidemic; the toll it has taken on families across our state and nation is unfathomable,” said State Senator Tim Kennedy. “This announcement from the Attorney General demonstrates a clear commitment to holding the manufacturers who contributed to this crisis accountable and ensuring that critical treatment and prevention resources are delivered to those communities struggling to assist those battling this disease. It's imperative that New York create the Opioid Settlement Fund immediately in order to channel this money into hope and help in the future.”

“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 agreement reached by Attorney General James with Johnson & Johnson represents a pivotal moment in the fight against opioid abuse,” said State Senator Shelley Mayer. “The provision to officially bar their involvement in the sale or distribution of opioids in New York state and acknowledge their departure from this business at a national level, coupled with substantial funds to increase education, prevention, and treatment of opioid abuse will have enormous impact on the health of all New Yorkers. On behalf of the many New Yorkers whose lives, and whose families, have been devastated by the impact of opioid abuse, I thank Attorney General James for her courage and leadership.” 

“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.”

“Communities across New York continue to be devastated by the opioid crisis, and far too many lives have been overturned because companies like Johnson & Johnson have mishandled these dangerous and highly addictive painkillers,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “This historic settlement ensures that they’re finally out of the business of pushing these products to New Yorkers, and that the funding we receive can enable us to better serve impacted individuals and prevent future opioid abuse. While there’s more to be done to fight this epidemic, this mandate is an important step forward in holding the industry accountable and saving lives.”

“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 State 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 thank Attorney General James for reaching this important ground-breaking settlement,” said State Senator Pete Harckham. “This pharma giant must pay the blood money it long owed to families for the lost and ruined lives and the pain and suffering caused by the opioid epidemic. It is up to us now to ensure that the money goes into a lock box, dedicated to prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction. Like Johnson & Johnson, other giant pharma companies must be held accountable for their irresponsible actions, something which the Attorney General is continuing to do. I applaud her efforts.”

“The opioid epidemic has ended too many lives and destroyed countless others,” said State Senator Samra Brouk. “Pharmaceutical companies who pushed opiate sales knowing how addictive and harmful they could be must be held accountable. While no amount of money can undo the damage that has been done to families across New York state, this settlement is a major step forward in holding corporations who put their own profits before public health accountable. As a result of the predatory practices used by these companies, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are still actively battling an addiction to opioids, and we must continue to ensure that they have the support and resources they need to reclaim control over their lives.”

“This $230 million settlement is a reminder that pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson must be held accountable for their role in the devastating opioid crisis”, said State Senator Jeremy Cooney. “Through this first step towards recovery, New York Attorney General Letitia James and her office are starting the process of helping New Yorkers directly impacted by the opioid epidemic. Here in Rochester, I am proud to partner with organizations like Trillium Health that are providing intervention services and working to destigmatize this public health crisis. I am committed to continuing to make progress towards helping those impacted heal, not to criminalize them and exacerbate harm.”

“I applaud Attorney General James in her determined efforts to hold the drug industry accountable for its irresponsible and dangerous behavior that contributed to our nation's disastrous opioid crisis,” said State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. Corporations should pay dearly for any policies or tactics they employ which damage public health. I fully support any measures taken by Attorney General James to have drug manufacturers and the distributors pay their fair share back to communities which have suffered substantial death and despair at their hands.”

“In Central New York, we all know someone whose life has been turned upside down by opioid abuse,” said State Senator John Mannion. “There's one less drug company profiting from addiction today thanks to the Attorney General's hard work, and there's millions of new dollars available to support New Yorkers suffering due to the epidemic. This settlement will make a real difference for families in our community.”

“Attorney General James has won an important victory in the fight against opioid abuse and for holding corporations accountable for dangerous, irresponsible behavior,” said State Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried.

“This momentous settlement on behalf of New Yorkers who fell victim to the schemes of opioid-pushing corporations has the potential to do immense good in our fight against opioid abuse in New York state,” said State Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz. “This effort is in tandem with legislation that I proudly supported and has passed in the Assembly, which is now before the Governor for his signature. Thank you to Attorney General James for her excellent leadership in reaching this settlement, and I strongly urge the Governor to follow suit by quickly signing the Opioid Settlement Fund bill on his desk into law.”

“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.”

“Opioid addiction has led to the death of too many people in our state and our country,” said State Assemblymember Sandy Galef. “I commend Attorney General James for taking legal action to prevent Johnson & Johnson from selling their opioid products ever again. We all applaud this legal settlement that will save lives and keep families together.”

“Attorney General James’ leadership holds those responsible for opioid addiction accountable,” said State Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “The settlement money will go a long way in helping the people and communities affected by the opioid crisis."

“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.”

“My community, like so many others, has been devastated by the irresponsible actions of drug manufacturers over the course of many years,” said State Assemblymember Donna Lupardo. “As a co-sponsor of the legislation creating the Opioid Settlement Fund, it was very important that payments go directly to prevention, early intervention and treatment. Thank you to the Attorney General and her team for securing these much-needed resources.”

“With tens of thousands of Staten Islanders and their families having been negatively impacted by the opioid crisis over the last few decades, the recent news of the funding secured by Attorney General Letitia James is monumental as it is imperative toward curbing opioid overdoses and addiction,” said State Assemblymember Mike Cusick. “It also paves the way for needed millions in treatment funding while banning J&J from selling opioids giving our borough and our state the opportunity to address the needs of victims without having the threat of a major source.” 

“Thanks to the vision, skills, and tenacity of Attorney General Letitia James, Johnson & Johnson's involvement in propelling the opioid crisis to deadly heights in New York state will cost them a $230 million settlement,” said State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. “As families continue to mourn lives lost to opioid use, the money secured in this settlement will help with much-needed treatment and education, a benefit for all New Yorkers.”

“The creation of the Opioid Settlement Fund is critical at this time not only because New York Attorney General Letitia 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 and 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.”

“The opioid crisis has left a trail of tragedy and loss to millions of Americans,” said State Assemblymember Steve Otis. “Thank you to Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership in guiding this effort to secure funding from drug manufacturers towards treatment and prevention. As a co-sponsor of the Opioid Settlement legislation, I know how important it is that we target resources to address the tremendous harm caused by opioid addiction.”

“This landmark settlement is a recognition of the devastating impacts that opioids have on communities,” said State Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski. “These settlement funds will be a great help in the continued fight to combat addiction in New York. I would like to thank the Attorney General for her diligent efforts in cracking down on the unscrupulous practices by opioid manufacturers.”

“No amount of money will ever undo the devastation that occurred from the irresponsible and reckless over prescribing of opioids,” said State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter. “However, this settlement will bolster New York’s efforts towards addiction treatments and prevention. With much of our recent progress undermined by the challenges of the pandemic, the settlement secured by Attorney General James will help New York get back on track while holding companies like Johnson & Johnson accountable.”

“This is a historic settlement for New York state by having drug companies acknowledge their role in the opioid epidemic,” said State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein. “I stand with the Attorney General in advancing this important agreement. This settlement will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to affected communities across our great state to try to start to recover from the harms caused by these drugs.”

“The opioid crisis for far too long has caused so much destruction and pain for our communities,” said State Assemblymember Nathalia Fernandez. “It is overdue that they pay to help rebuild and help the countless families and victim to the opioid epidemic. I want to thank Attorney General James for her amazing work on this critical issue. Governor Cuomo needs to sign the legislation to create the opioid settlement fund immediately to not waste any more time to help out communities.”

“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 Letitia 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.”

“A historic settlement, I applaud Johnson & Johnson agreeing to settle claims for $230 million with New York for its role in expanding the opioid crisis,” said State Assemblymember Nader Sayegh. “Attorney General Letitia James further demanded the giant drug maker agree to permanently end manufacturing and distribution of opioids in our state and across the nation and this is a victory in the war against drugs which destroyed generations of our youth.”

“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.” 

“I thank Attorney General James for this landmark settlement so critically needed,” said State Assemblymember Chris Burdick. “The legislature and the Attorney General also are in complete agreement that settlement dollars be restricted to funding opioid prevention, treatment, and education efforts across New York state with no diversion of such dollars in the general fund.”

“This settlement from Attorney General James is momentous and sets the right healing path forward for our state and our country to address opioid use disorder,” said State Assemblymember Anna Kelles. “Our bodies and our lives are not and should never be used as a vehicle to amass wealth for wealth's sake and this settlement draws a line in the sand stating that we, as a state, will not stand for this kind of greed and abuse.”

“I applaud the Office of the Attorney General for reaching a historic settlement with Johnson & Johnson to ensure accountability for the pharmaceutical company’s role in the opioid crisis,” said State Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson. “The opioid crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers of various racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, causing incalculable loss and devastation to families and communities across New York state. Whether we are healing the wounds of the war on drugs or the opioid crisis, we must be resolute in our pursuit of justice for vulnerable communities. As we engage Johnson & Johnson during this current public health crisis of COVID-19, it is critically important to hold them to a high standard of transparency, accountability, and good ethics as they are not above reproach. We must advocate for the monies from this historic settlement to be invested directly in communities impacted by the opioid crisis.”

“It is critically important Governor Cuomo sign this legislation and a state fund is immediately established so all funds from opioid lawsuits to ensure are used for prevention, treatment, intervention including recovery programs and treatment for co-occurring mental illnesses,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. “The opioid addiction cycle has destroyed countless families and taken too many lives. There is no excuse for any delay. As one of the first counties in New York to initiate litigation, we know these settlement funds are vital to state and local efforts to address and mitigate the harms associated with the opioid epidemic — and save lives. We are grateful to Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership on this issue and commitment to holding these bad actors accountable.”

“I commend Attorney General James on reaching a settlement that will help treat and prevent the opioid crisis going forward,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “The $230 million-dollar settlement is a victory, but it is important to remember that no amount of money will ever bring back the lives lost to opioids. These were our friends and neighbors, and their families will never be whole. All we can do now is have comfort in the fact that these funds will be used to prevent any future devastation. Again, I commend Attorney General James for her leadership, dedication, and determination.”

“Holding opioid manufacturers accountable for their actions and responsible for the devastation they have wrought in communities across New York and nationwide is a key step in healing and preventing more damage,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “We can never bring back those we’ve lost, but thanks to Attorney General James we will have more tools to raise awareness, offer help, and prevent such suffering in the future. Families in Erie County and across our region have felt the pain of this scourge as well and I thank the Attorney General for her hard work on behalf of all of us.”

“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,” said 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.”

“This settlement is a huge win for the people of Broome County and all of New York state who have witnessed the heartbreaking effects of the opioid epidemic,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “We will now be able to make additional investments in critical intervention, treatment, and prevention tools that will help keep opioids out of our communities and put more people on a path to recovery. I’d like to thank the Attorney General for her leadership in our fight against opioids.”

“The opioid crisis has had a devastating effect on our community, state, and nation,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened this crisis and it will take same commitment and tenacity that we used to defeat COVID-19 to defeat this serious public health crisis. Thank you to Attorney General James and her team for their tireless efforts to hold these companies accountable and subsequently deliver the resources we need to continue our fight on the front lines.”

“I want to thank Attorney General Letitia James for continuing to stand up for residents and families of New York state and holding pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “She continues to lead the efforts to end this crisis that has caused incredible pain and suffering in neighborhoods and communities across New York state for too long. We must all continue to do our part to educate people about the dangers of opioids and bring programs and services to help treat addiction into the communities we serve.”

“The settlement with Johnson & Johnson won by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office is a victory in the fight against the opioid addiction scourge, in that the $230 million J&J will pay will go to a state fund for prevention, treatment, and education,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark. “The Bronx needs and deserves some of this funding because we have been one of the hardest hit counties in the nation, in terms of overdoses and devastation of families and communities. We have suffered with opioid addiction for decades and the problem was compounded by the pharmaceutical companies’ role in bringing it to an epidemic. I thank Senator Gustavo Rivera for sponsoring the bill establishing an opioid settlement fund, and I urge Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation.”

“The opioid epidemic has destroyed too many lives, especially, sadly, on Staten Island, and we must continue to take action against the pharmaceutical companies and all who are responsible for fueling this national public health crisis,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. “This settlement will help prevent prescription pills from flowing into our communities, and I applaud Attorney General James and her entire team for their commitment to ensuring those responsible are held fully accountable. Those suffering from addiction illness, caused in large part by the willful acts of greed of the pharmaceutical industry, need our help and we must do all we can to expand education, prevention, treatment, and recovery programs to battle this five-alarm fire.”

“Every day, I talk to families devastated by opioid addition in Jamestown,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “I am proud to be able to tell them, and our community, that Attorney General James has brought the funds needed to help break the cycle of opioid addition, get loved ones the help they need, and advocate for treatment and prevention.”

“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.”

“Opioids have taken far too many lives, especially on Staten Island, and finally we are placing some blame and getting accountability,” said New York City Councilmember Joe Borelli.  “I am glad Attorney General James stayed on top of this issue on behalf of the thousands of New York families who lost a loved one.”

“On behalf of our family and Save the Michaels families, we want to thank Attorney General Letitia James for championing our cause and speaking and standing up for our kids,” said Avi and Julie Israel, president and board member, Save the Michaels of the World. “Now is time to get going and help the people suffering from SUD. We ask Governor Cuomo be our partner and sign bill S7194.”

“Camelot and all of Staten Island applauds Attorney General Letitia James for her untiring dedication to hold those responsible for their part in the mass destruction of lives,” said Luke J. Nasta, CEO, Camelot Counseling Staten Island. “Hopefully, Attorney General James will ensure that the $230 million will go directly to the New York State Office of Addiction Services and supports licensed providers of treatment and prevention services.”

“On behalf of my family and Drug Crisis in our Backyard, we thank Attorney General James for her persistence in fighting this battle,” said Susan Salomone, executive director, Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. “The opioid epidemic took my son, Justin, and the children of so many that the devastation to our communities cannot be quantified. Now, we are determined to have this legislation signed into law. We respectfully ask Governor Cuomo to do justice to the families that lost lives and those still living with active addiction.”

“I would like to thank Attorney General James, Assembly Carrie Woerner, and Senator Gustavo Rivera for championing this important cause,” said Ashley Livingston, co-chair, Friends of Recovery Warren & Washington. “This money, while it will not bring back the lives lost, has the potential to save so many New Yorkers. I urge Governor Cuomo to sign this amazing legislation into law!”

“Attorney General Letitia James has led the fight to ensure that those responsible for the horrors of the opioid epidemic are held accountable,” said Stephanie Marquesano, founder and president, The Harris Project. “Now the funds must be applied towards prevention and to best meet the needs of those with substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. On behalf of my family and The Harris Project, we ask Governor Cuomo to join the unanimous Legislature and sign the opioid settlement fund bill into law making these dollars available for immediate use where needed most.”

“I am so grateful for the tireless and fruitful efforts of Attorney General James,” said Dennis Gregg, co-founder, Heroin Epidemic Action League (HEAL) Madison and Onondaga County. “There is absolutely no reason Governor Cuomo should not sign bill S1794 immediately. It should have been signed as soon as it crossed his desk. My stepdaughter Holland, and so many others, have paid the ultimate price during the opioid epidemic. This money must be used for prevention, treatment, and recovery and for nothing else!”

“Thank you to the Attorney General for her advocacy and success in negotiating this settlement for New York state,” said Anne D. Constantino, president and CEO, Horizon Health Services. “This money is desperately needed to support all efforts to combat, prevent, and treat the crisis of addiction in our communities.”

“The leadership of Attorney General Letitia James has been vital in efforts to hold corporations accountable for irresponsible behavior that helped create and exacerbate the epidemic of overdose and addiction related to opioids,” said John Coppola, executive director, New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers. “It is now imperative that Governor Cuomo sign legislation unanimously passed in the New York State Senate and Assembly to ensure that settlement funds are properly spent.”

 “I would like to thank Attorney General James and her staff for working diligently on the opioid lawsuits,” said Linda Ventura, president and founder, Thomas’ Hope Foundation Inc. “My family and all the families of Thomas’ Hope Foundation stand in gratitude. Governor Cuomo, sign the bill. Let’s create recovery services in New York state as a testimony to all the lives lost and loved ones devastated.”

“Thank you, Attorney General Letitia James,” said Joyce Rivera, CEO, St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction. “This laudable success must be a first step in holding legal opioid drug dealers accountable for their decades-old practices of hooking vulnerable New Yorkers to legal opioids. $230 million is dwarfed by the billions Johnson & Johnson has made in profitable drug dealing. The generational impact of Johnson & Johnson's (and big Pharma) opioid drug dealing is evident in the massive numbers of legal drug users displaced onto the illicit drug market, opioid overdoses, individual and familial trauma, community harm, and economic decline across decades. Syringe exchange broke the back of the AIDS crisis. Now is the time to expand the harm reduction drug user health initiative at the AIDS Institute and enact legislative change by eliminating PL section 220.45.”

“Holding manufacturers of addictive opioids that have ravaged our communities accountable, especially those in the Bronx, is a necessary first step to provide justice to victims,” said Michael Brady, CEO, Third Avenue Business Improvement District and co-chair, Bronx Opioid Collective. “We join New York Attorney General Letitia James today in applauding the passage of bills by both chambers of the state legislature — S7194 and A6395B — and pledge our continued support to ensuring programs are fully funded to assist as many individuals as possible with holistic, person-centered, and community-based care.”

“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, New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers. “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.”

“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!”

“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 devasted by the opioid epidemic.”

“Acacia Network commends Attorney General Letitia James and the state of New York for having the grit to take on the pharmaceutical industry, which has profited from addiction for far too long,” said Raul Russi, president and CEO, Acacia Network. “It is no secret that the opioid epidemic has disproportionately impacted low-income communities of color, well before it reached middle-class America. As nonprofit providers in the addiction services field in the communities hardest hit by the opioid crisis, we welcome this news and look forward to strengthening our partnership with the state to aid in the recovery of those communities in greatest need.”