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Tarrant County accepts more than $2 million from latest round of opioid settlements

The dark wood doors of the Tarrant County Courthouse. There's the county emblem printed on the glass.
Keren Carrión
The latest settlement for Tarrant County comes from a lawsuit against McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen.

Story updated 3/8/23 at 12:10 p.m.

Tarrant County accepted more than $2 million in an opioid lawsuit settlement on Tuesday — part of a series of massive lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The lawsuits accuse the companies of fueling the use of opioids, leading to addiction, overdose and death. Settlements have resulted in billions of dollars in payouts nationwide. The companies dispute the allegations.

Overdose deaths are a leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S., and most of those overdose deaths involve opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest settlement amount for Tarrant County, totaling $2,218,523.80, comes from a lawsuit against McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, District Attorney's Office spokesperson Anna Tinsley Williams said in an email.

The county previously received about $510,000 in opioid settlement money.

The state got $1.17 billion from the national settlement with McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, which was the fifth statewide opioid settlement Texas has secured, according to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office.

The settlement agreement states that 85% of the settlement money must go towards "opioid remediation," or ways to counter the harmful effects of opioids in society. The money could go towards buying overdose reversal drugs like naloxone, or funding addiction treatment programs.

This $2 million pool for Tarrant County doesn't come with those restrictions, though, County Judge Tim O'Hare said Tuesday.

"This particular amount of settlement proceeds can go into the general fund and be spent on anything," O'Hare said.

That's because of the way the money is split between the county and the state, Williams from the DA's office explained over email. The money dedicated to opioid remediation goes to a state fund that local governments will have to apply for to use.

"The application process is not open and has not even been designed yet," Williams said.

The $2.2 million the county just accepted is not from the state fund, so it can be spent with no restrictions, she said.

Tarrant County has one more lawsuit pending against CVS, Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons, according to the DA’s office.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.