Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, today announced a bipartisan national settlement in principle with Kroger that, once final, will require the grocery chain to pay $1.37 billion to participating state and local governments for its role in the opioid crisis. In addition to the financial terms, a final settlement remains contingent on agreement on critical business practice changes.
To date, national investigations and litigation against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid crisis have led to more than $50 billion in settlements, with Illinois’ share at more than $1.3 billion.
“I am proud of the bipartisan work that has resulted in this settlement in principle with Kroger. This agreement builds upon the important progress we’ve already achieved through previous settlements, as we continue working to hold companies accountable for contributing to the opioid epidemic,” Raoul said. “I am committed to ensuring that resources Illinois receives through settlements are distributed equitably throughout the state to help fund services needed to mitigate the ongoing and tragic opioid crisis.”
The agreement would only be applicable to states in which Kroger operates, both under its own name or under the name of other subsidiaries. In Illinois, Kroger owns Mariano’s. The company also owns and operates other stores across the nation, including Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, Metro Market, Pay Less, Pick ‘n Save, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith’s Food and Drug.
The settlement is the latest of Attorney General Raoul’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and hold accountable companies whose deceptive practices increased opioid prescriptions at the expense of public health. They come after multiple national settlements Raoul’s office reached in 2022 and 2023.
Once the settlement goes into effect, funds to Illinois will be allocated according to the Illinois Opioid Allocation Agreement that Raoul reached in 2021 with state’s attorneys. The agreement, which Raoul’s office negotiated, is intended to ensure the funds Illinois will receive through the national opioid settlements are allocated equitably, including to counties and eligible municipalities. The majority of Illinois’ money will go to the Illinois Remediation Fund to be used for abatement programs throughout the state.
Attorney General Raoul’s office negotiated the Kroger settlement with the attorneys general of California, Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon and Virginia.
Attorney General Raoul urges anyone who believes they or a loved one may be addicted to opioids to seek help by calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 833-2FINDHELP, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.