Two fathers who were on the potential witness list to testify in a high profile case against opioid companies are now speaking out following a major settlement reached in Ohio.
Both men lost a son during the opioid crisis. The two fathers say that money can do a lot of good, but it is still not enough.
ABC’s Bob Jones reports.
Travis and Shelly Bornstein showed ABC News the wooded area in Springfield Township that will be transformed into Tyler’s redemption place, a relapse prevention wellness center named in honor of their son.
Like so many caught up in the opioid epidemic, Tyler got hooked on pain pills after surgeries, then became addicted to heroin.
He overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl in 2014 his body dumped in a vacant Akron lot.
As for the $260 million settlement with drug companies, Travis had this reaction. “As for families, there’s nobody jumping for joy,” said Travis Bornstein, Son died from overdose.
Travis, who was on the witness list to testify, believes the deal prevented stories, like his son’s, from coming out in open court.
“I know there was a big push by the pharmaceutical companies to not tell any personal stories,” said Travis.
Greg McNeil’s son, Sam, also struggled with pain pill addiction before dying of a heroin overdose in 2015.
McNeil is bothered that the drug companies did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
“You have had the testimony of all the false and misleading practices that the industry has perpetuated over the course of the past 20 years, and it’s unconscionable,” said Greg McNeil, Son died from overdose.
Both dads stressed that no amount of money will bring back their sons, or thousands of others lost to the opioid crisis. They hope much of the settlement money goes toward treatment.
“Unlike the tobacco settlement, in this particular case, there’s going to be some things that will directly impact the opioid epidemic,” said McNeil.
“We have to invest in resources, relapse prevention, and wellness programs to stay with people for the long-term,” said Travis.