JSD 117 Board to Vote On Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

By Benjamin Cox on November 14, 2023 at 10:07am

The Jacksonville School District 117 Board of Education will be making a decision on whether they will opt in to a class-action lawsuit settlement against a nationwide consulting firm at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday.

Consulting firm McKinsey & Co has agreed to pay $230 million to resolve lawsuits by hundreds of U.S. local governments and school districts alleging it fueled an epidemic of opioid addiction through its work for bankrupt OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and other drug companies, according to a report from Reuters in September.

The money is on top of $641.5 million that McKinsey already paid to resolve claims by state attorneys-general. McKinsey will pay $207 million to resolve claims by counties and municipalities, and another $23 million to resolve claims by public school districts. McKinsey had previously said it had agreed to resolve the cases but had not disclosed for how much.

McKinsey has not admitted wrongdoing. In a statement, the firm said it continued to believe its past work was lawful. It also noted it had committed in 2019 to no longer advise clients on any opioid-related business.

The lawsuits accused McKinsey, one of the leading global consulting firms, of contributing to the deadly drug crisis by helping drug manufacturers including Purdue Pharma design deceptive marketing plans and boost sales of painkillers.

According to the DEA database on opioids compiled by the Washington Post between 2006 through 2019, there were approximately 38 pills of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills per person in Morgan County during that period.

Wednesday night the District 117 school board will vote to decide if they will remain in, opt out, or object to the proposed class-action settlement.