Randy Yohe Published

W.Va. Settles Two Opioid Pharmacy Chain Distribution Lawsuits


Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday afternoon that settlements have been reached with Walmart and CVS pharmacies before a scheduled opioid distribution trial.

Morrisey said the combined settlement amount with the two national pharmacy chains adds up to a minimum of $147.5 million.

“These settlements won’t bring back the lives lost from the opioid epidemic, but these and other settlements will hopefully provide significant help to those affected the most by this crisis in our state,” Morrisey said. “This development also avoided a costly and lengthy trial and at the end of the day, West Virginia will have the highest per capita settlement results in the nation fighting for our people.”

Walmart agreed to a settlement of $65 million; CVS for $82.5 million. The CVS deal comes with a guarantee that West Virginia won’t be prejudiced by a future national settlement.

The two companies are part of a larger trial involving other major pharmacies. Litigation against the remaining pharmacy defendants, Walgreens and Kroger, continues before the Mass Litigation Panel with a trial date on June 5, 2023.

The money from all opioid settlements will be distributed under the terms of the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding. Announced in mid-February, the MOU is an agreement with the state on how future settlement dollars would be used to abate the opioid crisis throughout the state. It contains a comprehensive plan to use those funds to abate the massive problems caused by the flood of opioids into West Virginia. Morrisey noted that 99.6 percent of all government entities (counties, cities and towns) had signed on to the MOU.