Pa.’s opioid settlement is bad for Philly, DA Krasner says, as he waits for another deal

‘It’s my hope that we can come to a resolution soon, but if we cannot, we will fight them into a courtroom and we will make them pay,’ he said

By: - January 25, 2022 12:54 pm

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks at a news conference on Monday, 1/24/22 (Philadelphia Tribune photo).

By Brian Saunders

PHILADELPHIA — District Attorney Larry Krasner and his office are waiting for a better settlement offer to be negotiated in their lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

At his weekly news conference Monday, Krasner said there is a midnight Wednesday deadline this week for a new settlement more representative of the damage opioids have done in Philadelphia.

Back in December, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health confirmed that there were 639 drug overdoses during the first six months of 2021.

In June 2021, the District Attorney’s Office criticized the proposed settlement against opioid distributors, manufacturers, and dispensers for Philadelphia’s number of opioid deaths. They filed their own lawsuit against Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office.

A 2018 lawsuit under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law would net Philadelphia $5 million to $8 million per year over 18 years. But, if the city sees that money at all, Krasner has argued it is not nearly enough.

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“The proposed settlement announced yesterday is unacceptable: Any money Philadelphia receives from it will be too low in amount, too slow in payment, or a no-show — it may not even arrive in Philly,” Krasner said in a statement. “As a result, we were forced to file suit against the AG’s Office today to clarify that Philadelphia’s people, its rights, its elections, and the decisions made by the officials Philadelphia elects, matter.”

Standing in front of news media at Calvary Christian Church, Krasner said that all you have to do is drive through the Kensington area of Philadelphia to see how the opioid drug crisis has ravaged the city. He said he is hopeful they will see things his way and present a more fair deal to help Philly.

“Right now, this deal is bad for Philly,” Krasner said. “I hope they will understand how important it is to adjust things, so there’s some level of fair treatment for Philadelphia.”

If they don’t agree on an appropriate settlement, Krasner said he would take the case into a Philadelphia courtroom to present it in front of a Philadelphia judge.

“It is certainly my hope that the city — which so far has stood up to this nonsense — will continue to stand up to that nonsense,” Krasner said.

“And it’s also my hope that we actually can get from the state from the Commonwealth from these enemies, frankly of Philadelphia who are in big opioids, it’s my hope that we can come to a resolution soon, but if we cannot, we will fight them into a courtroom and we will make them pay.”

Brian Saunders is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.

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