LANSING, Mich., April 28, 2022 — Today, the Michigan State House of Representatives passed House Bill 5970, introduced by state Rep. Christine Morse, as part of a three-bill bipartisan package alongside state Rep. Mary Whiteford. This package, which earned broad bipartisan support, creates the Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund and ensures the funds from opioid lawsuit settlements are spent on opioid-related health costs. HB 5970 specifically creates the Opioid Liability Litigation Act to codify the multidistrict settlement agreement as agreed to by the state of Michigan and AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corp. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. The bill disallows political subdivisions of the state of Michigan from engaging in further litigation claims against the above settling parties as to the released claims.
The Janssen and Distributor settlements have multiple contingencies that, based on the action of each state, affect the funds the state receives. Without HB 5970, Michigan would be disqualified from Incentive A, meaning the state would lose out on at least 40% of awarded settlement funds. HB 5970 creates the legal support for the other bills in the package, ensuring Michigan is awarded the full settlement amount.
“The opioid crisis has devastated the state of Michigan. We all know someone who has been touched by the pain of opioid use or overdose,” Morse stated. “My bill ensures that every dollar Michigan has been awarded is used to promote the recovery and healing our communities so desperately need.”