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two Ohio counties@ (Adds share movement, details from the release, background)
Sept 6 (Reuters) - Mallinckrodt plc said on Friday it had agreed to pay $24 million in cash to two counties in Ohio, to settle lawsuits related to an ongoing multidistrict opioid litigation in the United States.
The development comes as opioid makers in the country face a string of lawsuits seeking to hold them responsible for fueling the opioid addiction crisis.
Last month, Endo International Plc agreed to pay $10 million and Allergan Plc agreed to pay $5 million to the same two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, to avoid going to trial in October. Allergan has since confirmed its settlement.
Shares of Mallinckrodt were up nearly 16% at $1.84 in afternoon trading.
The company will also donate $6 million in generic products, including addiction treatment products, as part of the settlement.
The announcement comes a day after Mallinckrodt downplayed a media report that it had hired restructuring firms and may choose to seek bankruptcy protection.
If finalized, the settlement will fully resolve certain lawsuits against all named Mallinckrodt entities that are scheduled to go to trial in October, the company said.
Other drug manufacturers and distributors are set to face the first trial in October resulting from federal court proceedings that have consolidated around 2,000 lawsuits brought largely by local governments accusing the companies of fueling the epidemic.
Reuters reported earlier this week that Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma, which is named in opioid-related lawsuits, is preparing to seek bankruptcy if it does not reach a settlement with U.S. communities.
The Mallinckrodt settlement, if successful, takes some pressure off the company, which last month suspended plans to spin-off its specialty generics unit, citing opioid litigation uncertainties.
However, the company on Thursday said it was still focused on separating the unit, which sells opioid drugs. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)