Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

NH to receive $15m in Walmart opioid settlement ... and more

OpioidsAttorney General John Formella announced Wednesday that the state will receive $15.5 million over the next year as part of a national settlement with Walmart. The money will be used to fund recovery services and treatment for people living with opioid use disorder.

The agreement follows a suit filed by 43 states against the giant retail chain that alleged the company contributed to the opioid crisis by not properly overseeing the dispensing of the medications at its pharmacies.

The settlement also requires Walmart to improve how its pharmacies handle opioids by complying with new measures to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag ones that seem suspicious.

The settlement comes on the heels of other opioid-related settlements in New Hampshire. The state previously filed complaints against Mallinckrodt and Purdue Pharma. Both companies have since filed for bankruptcy protection. The state also joined a $450 million multi-state settlement with opioid manufacturer Endo and filed complaints against major distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen. In response to those cases, New Hampshire will receive $115 million over 18 years. New Hampshire also reached a $40.5 million settlement with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson in September.

Insurance Department to over fraud unit overview

The NH Hampshire Insurance Department is inviting attorneys, investigators and other interested professionals to a one-hour training session regarding insurance fraud investigations and how they are conducted in the state.

The presentation – which will be conducted in person and via Microsoft Teams, will be led by Brendhan Harris, fraud director at the agency. He will discuss how the fraud unit operates and what state laws govern fraud investigation, what tools are used to investigate fraud cases and how the department collaborates with other federal and state agencies.

The presentation will be offered from 9 to 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at the agency’s offices at 21 S. Fruit Street in Concord. To register, email with your name and agency affiliation by Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Absolute Title expands presence in Concord

Absolute Title recently expanded its presence in Concord by 80 percent to provide additional office space for its workforce and more conference rooms for an increasing number of clients, the company announced. The firm has three offices, with two more in Bedford and Portsmouth. It also has two mobile closing vehicle – cargo vans that have been equipped with signing desks and stools.

AG backs FCC bid to tackle unwanted texts

The attorney general’s office has signed on in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to help cut down on unwanted text messages by requiring mobile wireless providers to block texts from invalid, unassigned or unused numbers, and from numbers on a Do Not Originate list.

Attorney General John Formella said the move comes “in response to increasing enforcement and regulation of voice service providers to stop illegal robocalls, bad actors appear to be shifting tactics to scam text messages.” He said those links sometimes include links to phishing websites that appear identical to the website of a legitimate company, “thus tricking the consumer to unwittingly provide personal and financial information.”

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