Judge orders Walmart, CVS, Walgreens to pay $650m to two Ohio counties in opioids suit

Cleveland-area counties to receive payouts over several years.

Published: August 17, 2022 3:24pm

Updated: August 17, 2022 3:33pm

Two Ohio counties will receive a combined $650 million in damages from three national pharmacy chains over claims that the medical retailers harmed local communities by cavalierly distributing opioids to patients. 

Walgreens, CVS and Walmart will have to shell out the massive payout to the Cleveland-area counties of Lake and Trumbull. The two municipalities had sued the companies as part of what Lake County Commissioner John Hamercheck said was the "fight to end the opioid epidemic.”

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster told the three pharmacies “squandered the opportunity to present a meaningful plan to abate the nuisance” following an earlier trial to determine the scope of the damages owed to the counties. 

Lake County is set to receive $306 million of the payout, while Trumbull will get $344 million; both counties will receive the funds over 15 years. 

The three companies have vowed to appeal. Two other pharmacies—Giant Eagle and Rite Aid—settled with the counties before trial.

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