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(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) acknowledged on Tuesday this would well pay $20.4 million to resolve claims by two Ohio counties, permitting the U.S. healthcare big to lead optimistic of an upcoming federal trial attempting for to withhold the alternate to blame for the nation’s opioid epidemic.

FILE PHOTO: The company trace for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a display camouflage to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the corporate’s listing on the Unique York Inventory Alternate (NYSE) in Unique York, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

J&J changed into the fourth drugmaker to resolve claims earlier than the Federal Courtroom trial against a complete lot of producers and distributors in Cleveland scheduled for later this month. The case is believed to be a bellwether for bigger than 2,600 court cases by suppose and local governments that are pending nationally.

“The settlement permits the corporate to lead optimistic of the resource calls for and uncertainty of a trial as it continues to detect meaningful development in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis,” J&J acknowledged in a press start.

“The company acknowledges the opioid crisis is a complex public health peril and is working collaboratively to wait on communities and other folks in need,” it added.

Opioids were captivated with 400,000 overdose deaths in the usa from 1999 to 2017, consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Management and Prevention.

J&J which formerly marketed the painkillers Duragesic and Nucynta, acknowledged the settlement involves no admission of liability.

The company will pay $10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, reimburse $5 million of their honest and varied expenses and provide $5.4 million to non-earnings organizations that bustle opioid-related programs in the counties.

Mallinckrodt Plc (MNK.N) finalized a $24 million settlement with the identical two counties on Monday. Endo International Plc (ENDP.O) and Allergan Plc (AGN.N) also settled with the two counties in August to lead optimistic of going to trial.

The last defendants in the Oct. 21 federal trial contain McKesson Corp (MCK.N), AmerisourceBergen (ABC.N), Cardinal Health (CAH.N), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA), Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) and Henry Schein Inc (HSIC.O).

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP succumbed to stress from the court cases and filed for economic smash security in September.

Some plaintiffs’ lawyers fill when in contrast the opioid circumstances to litigation by states against the tobacco alternate that ended in a $246 billion settlement in 1998.

Earlier in the twelve months, an Oklahoma think ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the suppose for its fraction in fueling an opioid epidemic by deceptively advertising and marketing addictive painkillers.

Purdue Pharma and Teva had settled claims by Oklahoma’s authorized skilled frequent for $270 million and $85 million, respectively.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; extra reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Bettering by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Cynthia Osterman and Jane Wardell