Settlements involving class action actions lawsuits resulted in agreements to pay more than $63 billion in 2022, according to the findings of a new report, which suggests that the payments were driven by recent efforts by pharmaceutical companies to resolve claims stemming from the marketing of opioid medications. , which has been blamed for causing the opioid addiction crisis in the US
The Duane Morris Class Action Review was released on January 4, indicating that the amount represents a new record for class action settlements in product liability claims, spread out over 635 class action decisions and settlements last year.
Researchers examined claims resolved in state and federal courts nationwide, involving plaintiff class actions and government enforcement actions. It is the 20th year the report has been issued.
Opioid Crisis Settlements Led the Way
Of the more than $63 billion in judgments and class action settlements, 15 of the cases resulted in payments of $1 billion or more. The largest of those involved a $7.4 billion settlement by McKesson, a drug and medical supply distribution company, which agreed to resolve lawsuits filed against it by communities and states nationwide.
The next two highest settlements, each about $6 billion, involved AmerisourceBERGEN and Cardinal Health, both of resulted from the companies’ roles in the opioid crisis cases.
The largest non-opioid related case was a Cardona student debt settlement, which resulted in an agreement to pay about $6 billion.
The report also found that product liability and mass torts alone led to $50 billion in settlements, increasing 267% over 2021. Consumer fraud cases raked in nearly $8.6 billion overall, a 640% increase, and antitrust cases resulted in $3.8 billion in settlements, which is an increase of 119% over 2021’s numbers.