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J&J to pay $40.5 million to settle New Hampshire opioid lawsuit

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $40.5 million to settle New Hampshire's claims over the company's role in the opioid epidemic.

New Hampshire said the settlement averted a trial that had been scheduled to begin on Sept. 7 in Merrimack County Superior Court.

The state will apply $31.5 million toward opioid abatement, after paying legal fees, and Johnson & Johnson will be banned from selling or promoting opioids there.

Johnson & Johnson did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to settle, and said it will defend against litigation that the settlement does not resolve.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jason Neely)