Two counties in Utah won’t join a national opioid settlement

Feb 19, 2022, 8:00 AM
OxyContin settlement...
FILE - This file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/ Toby Talbot, File)
(AP Photo/ Toby Talbot, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is expected to receive millions of dollars from a national settlement with opioid manufacturers. But two counties in the state will not take the money.

According to reporting from the Deseret News, Grand and San Juan Counties are opting out of the $26 billion settlement.

Grand County Attorney, Christina Sloan, says there are several reasons why Grand County did not join the opioid settlement.

Insufficient amount of money

“We are small enough that every single elected official has been personally affected by deaths and ruined lives in our county related to opioid addiction,” Sloan said.

“And the losses go on and on for years.”

Sloan said that the federal money would not adequately address the costs of opioid addiction for those who, rather than dying from it, are battling, living with, and recovering from the addiction.  

Specifically, Sloan estimates that Grand County’s likely distribution from the settlement would equal around $128 thousand paid out over 18 years.

“That’s $7 thousand a year, an offensive gesture. So we risk nothing by proceeding to trial,” said Sloan.

“Using CDC damages models based on population, our damages are as high as $36 million (past, current, future). Using our opioid counsel’s more conservative models based on the County’s actual costs, our damages are around $19 million.

“Even if we only recover a fraction of that conservative estimate, we gain millions more via litigation than settlement,” Sloan said.

Rural Utah loses again

Sloan strongly believes the federal opioid settlement is designed to benefit the defendants of the case first. The state, and urban Utah are second and third.

“The (Attorney General) promised to take care of rural Utah and to acknowledge the unique impact the opioid crisis has cost us, but has failed to do so with this settlement.”

Each county is planning to go to trial on its own, believing it can get more money than the settlement is offering. 

Related reading:

Today’s Top Stories

University of Utah Health...
Alejandro Lucero

University of Utah Health app MyChart now available in Spanish

MyChart makes University of Utah Health the first major healthcare network in the state to offer a Spanish-language portal. 
14 hours ago
uvalde police...
PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press

Uvalde schools suspend entire police force after outrage

The decision follows outrage over the Uvalde district's hiring of a former Texas trooper, part of the law enforcement response during the Uvalde attack.
14 hours ago
Image of the bike that was gifted to Bentley following the crash that left him hospitalized (Photo ...
Adam Small

5-year-old hit while riding bike on path to recovery, gets a special visitor

A 5-year-old boy who was hit by a truck while riding his bike on Wednesday is making progress in his recovery at Primary Children's Hospital.
14 hours ago
Someone eats at Training Table. Pictured eating through a window under a sign that reads "gourmet"...
Waverly Golden

The countdown is over… what does Training Table have cooking up?

As of July 21, 2022, the Training Table's website had a countdown of 78 days with a cryptic message saying “Tasty things coming soon."
14 hours ago
Taylorsville City Police Department is investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide. Furt...
Elizabeth Weiler

Million dollar traffic stop in St. George

A routine traffic violation stop turned into a drug bust worth over one million dollars of fentanyl, according to police
14 hours ago
Tomatoes produce will throught the season and are a productive crop. (Deseret News)...
Lindsay Aerts

A delayed frost means more summer produce

Overnight frost may make its first appearance later than usual this year. Crops like tomatoes and corn may benefit.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Two counties in Utah won’t join a national opioid settlement