© Reuters. The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company’s listing at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (N:) said on Tuesday it will pay $20.4 million to settle claims by two Ohio counties in a lawsuit that accused the drugmaker of contributing to an U.S. opioid addiction epidemic.

The company said in a statement the settlement removes it from a federal trial against multiple manufacturers and distributors scheduled to begin on Oct. 21..

J&J will pay $10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, reimburse $5 million of their legal and other expenses and provide $5.4 million to non-profit organizations that run opioid-related programs in the counties.

On Monday, Mallinckrodt Plc (N:) finalized a $24 million settlement agreement with the same two counties.

Endo International Plc (O:) and Allergan Plc (N:) also settled with the two counties in August to avoid going to trial.

Remaining defendants in the Oct. 21 trial include McKesson Corp (N:), AmerisourceBergen (N:), Cardinal Health (N:), Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:) Industries Ltd (TA:) , Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (O:) and Henry Schein Inc (O:).

Earlier in the year, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the state for its part in fueling an opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers.

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2019-10-01