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Boone County to receive nearly $2 million from class action lawsuit against Kroger

File photo of the Boone County Government Center.
KMIZ
File photo of the Boone County Government Center.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Boone County Commission on Tuesday unanimously voted in favor of participating in an agreement with Kroger as a part of the company's recent class action settlement.

The Associated Press reported in September that Kroger agreed to pay up to $1.4 billion over 11 years to various state and local governments, Native American Tribes and legal fees to be able to not admit wrongdoing or liability in the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.

Through the settlement, Boone County would receive nearly $2 million through 2038, according to Presiding Commissioner Kip Kendrick. Kroger has stores and pharmacies in 35 states, including two Gerbes locations in Columbia.

"That may be an additional opportunity for Boone County to receive funding through the opioid settlement funds in order to put back out into the programing," Kendrick said.

Boone County Commissioners are currently holding meetings to discuss how the finances will be spent for the 2025 fiscal year. The commission has already had meetings with the Missouri Department of Mental Health representatives, Department of Health and Senior Services, and local members of the Board of Public Health, Kendrick said.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri is ranked 31 among all states for drug overdose death rates in 2021. The DHSS also adds that drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for adults aged 18-44 in the state with more than 70% of drug overdose deaths related to opioids.

Kendrick feels the settlement isn't enough to resolve the damage caused from opioids.

"It’s just a drop in the bucket of what what's needed," Kendrick said. "But those funds will will be helpful all the same."

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services will hold its monthly naloxone education and distribution event from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, July 30 at Daniel Boone Regional Library at 100 West Broadway. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an overdose.

Article Topic Follows: Boone

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Marie Moyer

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