County receives $14,202 from national opioid lawsuit

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors is preparing to assign monies soon to be received from a settlement with National Prescription Opioid litigation.
In November, 2021, the supervisors met with Assistant County Attorney Bruce Swanson, who shared details about the class-action lawsuit that involved seven pharmaceutical manufacturers, with an option for cities and counties that did not have the capacity to sue individually to join in the lawsuit.
Stipulations for the award were that any settlement money would have to be distributed to mental health coverage or drug treatment. While not knowing what the amount of the settlement would turn out to be, the supervisors agreed to execute the settlement participation form.
At the regular meeting Nov. 6, Supervisors Chair Mark Peterson said they had received a settlement from the lawsuit in the amount of $14,202, as well as a lengthy list of instructions.
“We were given information totaling around 15 pages regarding the lawsuit, [that] lists the designated entities that are approved to distribute the funds to,” Peterson said.
Supervisor Donna Robinson said she had been seeking advice from other entities to discuss their settlement plans.
“I visited with Steve Byer and Leland Shipley and have talked about what they are planning to do with the settlement money in their counties.
Supervisor Mike Olson said County Attorney Drew Swanson had been getting regular updates regarding the settlement since the county filed its settlement participation form.
While the county has been told the settlement amount, it has not yet been received. County Auditor Jill Ozuna said everything is in place once the money is received.
“The fund has been set up, and I have reached out to Swanson to find out what all of this entails. He provided some information and the guidelines, and made it clear that the guidelines are very specific on how we need to use those funds. It’s ready to go,” Ozuna explained.
The supervisors agreed to have Swanson present at a future supervisors meeting to go over the guidelines and requirements of the settlement money in further detail.

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