Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released a statement following the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) $8.3 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin.

“The settlement announced yesterday does not absolve Purdue Pharma from the thousands of cases brought by states, local governments and families,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “However, it is our hope that as more of these companies are held accountable for their unscrupulous actions, our residents impacted by the opioid crisis will receive the financial support and collective action towards recovery they deserve. It is critical that we continue to push forward and ensure these companies remain liable for the immense damage they have caused to families around Howard County and our state.”

In May 2019, Ball also announced that Howard County would be formally suing opioid makers and distributors in Circuit Court, holding them accountable for their role in causing the epidemic. In December 2019, the lawsuit was transferred to the Multi-District Litigation, consolidating legal action. The lawsuit is currently pending before a federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio, after the trial was postponed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Additionally, Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical maker that is a defendant in Howard County’s lawsuit recently filed for bankruptcy in Delaware. The proposed bankruptcy plan contemplates a $1.6 billion settlement to government entities, payable over eight years, subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.