RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia could receive millions from a settlement with Koger for the store’s role in the nationwide opioid crisis.
Attorney General Jason Miyares announced a settlement with Kroger that would require the grocery chain to pay up to $1.37 billion to state and local governments affected by its role in the opioid crisis.
Virginia is anticipated to receive around $28 million from the settlement, according to a release. The settlement will be paid in installments over 11 years. Virginia’s estimated share of national investigations against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid crisis is approximately $1.1 billion.
Opioids, especially synthetic opioids, are the main cause of drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Opioids were involved in 80,411 overdose deaths in 2021, which is 75.4% of all drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC.
“The opioid crisis has tragically claimed the lives of countless innocent Virginians, and this significant settlement is another important step in the battle against this epidemic, offering aid and recovery services to those who urgently need it,” Miyares said.
The agreement would only apply to the states in which Kroger, or its subsidiaries, operates, according to the release. For Virginians, this includes Kroger and Harris Teeter.
The company also owns and operates other stores across the nation including: Dillons, Fred Meyer, Smith’s Food and Drug, Ralphs, King Soopers, Fry’s, QFC, City Market, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker’s, Gerbes, Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market and Mariano’s.
The final settlement remains contingent on the agreement for “critical business practice changes” as well as upholding its financial terms. Negotiations were led by Attorneys General from Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, California, Colorado and Illinois.