Welcome to the Official Tribal Opioid Settlements Website
Five New settlements have been reached to resolve Opioids litigation brought by Tribes and tribal health organizations against the three largest pharmacies: Walmart, CVS and Walgreens (“Pharmacies”), and two manufacturers: Teva and Allergan. These settlements will provide to Tribes and Alaska tribal health organizations over $500 million for abatement of the Opioids epidemic across Indian Country. With the previous settlements with J&J and the Distributors, well over $1 billion shall begin to be distributed to Tribes in early 2023.
Tribes have the right to decide whether to participate in any, all, or no settlements. This website contains information about the settlements and how Tribes may participate and receive settlement funds.
What are the lawsuits about?
The lawsuits claims that Opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers knew that Opioids are more addictive than they claimed, causing addiction and other harm to tribal members and their communities.
What is the history of the lawsuits?
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by Tribes, tribal health organizations, states, cities, counties, hospitals, union trust funds, and individuals. In 2017, a federal judicial panel consolidated the cases, now known as National Prescription Opiate Multi-District Litigation (MDL), and assigned them to Ohio federal district court Judge Dan A. Polster. Hundreds of federally recognized Tribes filed lawsuits, asserting their right to seek compensation as sovereign governments and on behalf of their citizens. Judge Polster appointed a Tribal Leadership Committee (TLC) to coordinate the tribal litigation and to advocate for all Tribes in the litigation and in any settlement negotiations.
Over the course of several years, Judge Polster has overseen pretrial proceedings in multiple litigation “tracks” and selected test cases for trial. He has also appointed special masters and mediators to urge the parties toward settlement, saying early on that no settlement would be complete without participation by tribal plaintiffs. Some of the defendants, including Purdue Pharma (the manufacturer of OxyContin) and Mallinckrodt PLC (one of the largest manufacturers of generic opioids) entered bankruptcy as a result of the litigation, transferring their cases to separate bankruptcy courts. Other Defendants such as the Distributors and J&J have also settled.
The Pharmacies and Teva/Allergan have now reached agreement with the TLC on terms for proposed settlements open to all federally recognized Tribes, whether or not they filed lawsuits.
This website contains information and documents related to each of these settlements. Tribes and tribal entities that are eligible to participate should consult with their counsel about participation.
There may be additional settlements in the future. Those settlements will be added to the website as well.