The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on families every day. The origins of this problem are still being understood and many questions asked of those who have lost loved ones to this crisis remain unanswered. While nothing can bring back those they loved so much, those responsible must pay the price.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday applauded the state legislature for helping to take another step forward in the battle for restitution and compensation for the wrongs committed against so many people . James’ office announced the passage of Senate Bill S.7194 and House Bill A.6395B. The passage of these laws establishes an opioid settlement fund for the families of the victims. The law states that “all funds received by the state as a result of a settlement or judgment in litigation against manufacturers, distributors, distributors, consultants or dealers of opioids must be deposited in [an] opioid settlement funds, and that these funds should not supplant or replace existing public funding. “
Attorney General James said in a statement regarding the passage of the law,
While no amount of money will ever make up for the thousands of people who lost their lives or became addicted to opioids in our state, nor will it bring comfort to the countless families torn apart by this crisis, this bill ensures that the funds are used to prevent future devastation. I thank Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Woerner, as well as county and local governments, advocates, service providers and families for working to bring this bill to the finish line. .
She also recognized the importance of this step taken to end the epidemic and hold those responsible to account. It was in March 2019 that Attorney General James filed a lawsuit against several large pharmaceutical companies and those cases are now in U.S. bankruptcy court, but the trial against all other defendants is scheduled to begin on June 22, 2021.