Nashville, TN (WOKI) Grocery giant Food City has agreed to pay nearly $45 million to settle the company’s opioid misconduct case.
The announcement coming Thursday from the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office which had filed a lawsuit in February 2021 accusing Food City of unlawfully selling opioids.
“Every entity that contributed to the opioid crisis must be held accountable. Our Consumer Protection Division remains relentless in the pursuit of justice and I am proud of their aggressive enforcement in this case,” said Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. “By paying a hefty price to resolve past misconduct, Food City provides critical resources to save lives and protect families and can now get back to the business of serving its customers and supporting Tennessee communities.”
The AG’s office says the $44.5 million Food City will pay will go towards Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Fund, primarily, which supports local efforts in addressing the opioid epidemic.
Additionally, Food City agreed to up-training for pharmacy staff, updating their prescription validation process, and reporting more data to the state.
Food City released a statement following Skrmetti’s announcement, saying the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, but the company is hoping to contribute to opioid-related programs.
“The agreement states that it is not an admission or evidence of any liability or wrongdoing,” Food City said, adding that the company “will contribute to the opioid-related programs that are being established as a result of the previous settlements with national retailers and distributors.”
The settlement also includes an agreement for Food City to provide employment opportunities for Tennesseans recovering from opioid addiction.