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Marion County signs on as Florida seeks buy-in for opioid settlements


Marion County signed on to an agreement Tuesday setting the framework for final settlements with several companies behind the opioid crisis.

Florida is seeking buy-in from scores of local governments that have also filed suit. 

Marion County sued Purdue Pharma, J&J and other companies involved in the making, promotion and distribution of opioids.

The county and governments across the U.S. want compensation for expenses from the epidemic of addiction.

County Attorney Matthew Minter says this memorandum of understanding is the best way to go.

"It would not be cost effective for us to do a standalone litigation against these defendants," he told county commissioners.

The Attorney General's Office says Florida would get more than 7% of the national settlement spread over 18 years. Its share could be $140 million a year at first.

The money must be used for treatment and to battle addiction.

Marion County could start out at a million dollars a year. Orange County and its cities, at more than $3 million.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.