Westchester and Hudson Valley Leaders Voice Support for AG James’ Settlement with Johnson & Johnson for Role in Opioid Crisis

Elected Officials and Advocates Across Westchester and the Hudson Valley
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 Westchester and the Hudson Valley came out and expressed their support for the agreement.

“The opioid crisis has plagued New York for too long, leaving desperate communities and families in its wake,” said State Senate Majority Leader Andrew 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.” 

“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.” 

“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.”  

“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.” 

“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.” 

“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." 

“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.” 

“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 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.”