Attorney General James Distributes First Funds from Historic Opioid Settlements to Finger Lakes Region
Rochester and Finger Lakes Counties Receive $9 Million in First Round of Payments
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today distributed the first round of payments from the opioid settlements to counties in the Finger Lakes region and Rochester. In 2022, the Finger Lakes region will receive a total of $9 million, with more than $5.5 million going to Monroe County and more than $390,000 going to Rochester. These funds are the result of the $1.5 billion that Attorney General James has secured so far for New York state as a result of settlements with the manufacturers and distributors of opioids. All 62 counties and the five largest cities in the state will begin receiving funds this week, which will be used for opioid treatment and prevention efforts. The Finger Lakes region will receive up to $53 million in total over the years as part of these settlements.
“For more than two decades, the Finger Lakes region has been ravaged by the opioid crisis, but today, opioid makers and distributors are paying for it,” said Attorney General James. “These funds are crucial in fighting the opioid crisis and will go a long way in helping New Yorkers get the support they need to recover. No amount of money will ever make up for all that we have lost, but these funds will help prevent future devastation.”
“This is a critical week in the long-standing fight against opioids in our community. Monroe County is receiving $5.5 million, its first disbursement of opioid settlement funds. In total we will receive more than $30 million over next 18 years. Every penny of that goes into a trust fund we created to ensure the entire opioid settlement goes directly to addition services, prevention, treatment, and recovery,” said Monroe County Executive Adam J. Bello. “Thank you, Attorney General Letitia James, for securing these vital dollars — not only for Monroe County and the city of Rochester, but for communities across New York state fighting this terrible opioid crisis.”
“I thank Attorney General Letitia James for her tireless work alongside New York state municipalities to finalize this settlement,” said Rochester Mayor Malik Evans. “The impact of the opioid epidemic has been global, but the human cost can be seen up-close in neighborhoods in Rochester and across our state. I am committed to investing the dollars Rochester receives in this settlement to reversing the overdose trends, supporting those who find themselves in the grip of addiction, and helping our community heal.”
Today’s payments are the first of many to the Finger Lakes region to combat the opioid crisis. The first payments come from settlements with opioid distributors — AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and McKesson Corporation. Later this year, counties in the Finger Lakes and Rochester will receive additional payments from the settlements with Endo Health Solutions, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan. In addition, counties and cities will receive funds from the New York State Opioid Settlement Fund, which is managed by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).
The breakdown of the funds that will be distributed in 2022 is below.
Finger Lakes Region: $9,062,035
- City of Rochester: $390,918
- Genesee County: $423,876
- Livingston County: $404,888
- Monroe County: $5,597,620
- Ontario County: $781,354
- Orleans County: $246,260
- Seneca County: $230,746
- Wayne County: $592,953
- Wyoming County: $245,544
- Yates County: $147,872
In October 2021, Attorney General James visited Rochester as part of her statewide ‘HealNY’ tour, where she announced that she would deliver up to $53 million to the city of Rochester, Monroe County, and other counties in the Finger Lakes Region to help local residents recover from the opioid epidemic.
In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic. The manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.
In December 2021, Attorney General James scored a court victory against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA after a jury found the company and its affiliates liable for violating New Yorkers’ rights. A subsequent trial will now be held to determine how much Teva and others will be required to pay, which will be added to the up to $1.5 billion Attorney General James has already secured for the state of New York from different opioid manufacturers and distributors.
In September 2021, Attorney General James secured $50 million from Endo for New York state and Nassau and Suffolk counties to combat the opioid crisis and removed the opioid manufacturer from New York’s ongoing opioid trial.
The cases against Mallinckrodt, Purdue Pharma, and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The settlements were brought about by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy, Senior Advisor and Special Counsel M. Umair Khan, Director of Legal Initiatives Erica Gilles, Assistant Attorneys General Conor Duffy, Carol Hunt, Noah Popp, and Special Counsel Andy Amer. The trial work was done by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Special Counsel Monica Hanna, as well as Assistant Attorneys General Conor Duffy, Diane Johnston, Eve Woodin, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Jennifer Simcovitch, Larry Reina, Michael Reisman, Lois Saldana, Louis Testa, Stephanie Torre, and Wil Handley; Paralegals Ketty Dautruche and Christine Reynolds; Legal Assistant David Payne; Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg; Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia; Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury; Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny; E-Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella; and former Counsel for Opioids and Impact Litigation David Nachman.