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:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Olesya Krivtsova thinks it's because she was neither the first, nor the last, to criticize the war ...
Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell, CNN

This Russian student faced prison for social media posts. She’s fled to Europe to regain her freedom of speech

Olesya Krivtsova thinks it's because she was neither the first, nor the last, to criticize the war in Ukraine that she scared Russian authorities as much as she did.
6 hours ago
Then-President Donald Trump leads a meeting with travel and tourism industry executives to discuss ...
Sara Murray, Zachary Cohen and Tierney Sneed, CNN

Trump appeals court ruling lifting executive privilege shield for former aides

Former President Donald Trump is appealing a court ruling that would force several of his former aides, including Mark Meadows, to answer questions before a grand jury as part of the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
6 hours ago
Avalanche danger is considerable in the Northern Mountains today....
Mark Jones

What is the cause in the spike of avalanches in Utah?

Dave & Dujanovic discuss why there have been so many avalanches in the state this year and just how forceful they can be.
1 day ago
Phil Conder prepares sand bags in Midvale, Utah, on March 17, 2023. Utahns are preparing for possib...
Mark Jones

Is it too soon to prepare for flooding? Sandbags being prepared

Salt Lake County is preparing for potential flooding later this spring with sandbags. The county's emergency management Director joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss the situation.
1 day ago
police at ogden high school pictured after utah school shooting hoax...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

A former SLCPD officer discusses how police respond to copycat situations

Copycat situations are common following a school shooting such as the one that occurred in Tenneesse earlier this week. A former SLCPD talks to KSL NewsRadio how police respond.
1 day ago
An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriag...
Waverly Golden

Online marriage licensing gets the attention all over the world

An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriage is controlled by the Rabbinate.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Two counties in Utah won’t join a national opioid settlement