Grocery giant Kroger has agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to Washington State.

The first installment is due at some unspecified date following an agreement with Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Subsequent payments will be meted out over 11 years.

Half of the funds will go directly to Olympia; the other half is to be dispersed among municipal and county governments.


This money is intended to help combat the worsening Fentanyl crisis, which has devastated Washington as it has numerous states. (In Chelan County alone, there were nearly two dozen overdose deaths last year.)

Ferguson, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, announced the resolution on Tuesday morning. Historically Ferguson has had a frosty relationship with the grocery giant.

In the waning days of 2022, Washington State filed suit against Kroger, Albertsons and Rite Aid. These chains, some of the largest supermarket and pharmacy chains in the country, "failed in their collective responsibility to prevent the overuse of opioid prescriptions,” Ferguson argued at the time.

More recently, Washington sued to prevent the Kroger-Albertsons merger, deeming it monopolistic and harmful to businesses and consumers alike.


A self-styled opioid hawk, Ferguson has aggressively pursued corporate wrongdoers in the drug crisis. According to Tuesday's announcement, his office has secured untold millions in hard-won settlement money. The money is then redistributed to individual communities for the betterment of treatment providers, young people and medical and law enforcement personnel.

For its part, Kroger has long been deluged with opioid claims. Last September the company agreed to pay more than a billion dollars to a number of states, localities and Native American tribes.

The House That Groceries Built - Peek Inside the Kroger Mansion

This historic home in Cincinnati was originally built by Bernard H. Kroger for his daughter Gretchen in 1928.

Its unique architecture places it on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

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