Sackler Family To Lose Purdue Pharma Under Tentative Settlement In Federal Opioid Lawsuit

REUTERS/George Frey

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Purdue Pharma, the inventor of OxyCotin, reached a tentative settlement Wednesday with states, cities, and the federal government, all of which are suing Purdue Pharma for their role in causing the opioid epidemic.

The controlling owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, would be required to forfeit their ownership of the company and turn it into a trust fund for combating the opioid epidemic, according to the Washington Post. The company faces litigation from 48 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties alleging it used deceptive marketing practices to sell OxyCotin, contributing to the mass opioid addiction afflicting America today.

City and state lawyers urged their colleagues to “move forward in support of the current proposal, subject to satisfactory documentation of the essential terms and final documents,” said Paul J. Hanly, Jr., Paul T. Farrell Jr. and Joseph F. Rice, three of the leaders of that group, according to WaPo. “We feel good progress has and will continue to be made.” (RELATED: The Louvre Removes, Tapes Over Names Of Opioid-Profiteering Sackler Family)

Cataldo Ambulance medics and other first responders revive a 32-year-old man who was found unresponsive and not breathing after an opioid overdose on a sidewalk in the Boston suburb of Everett, Massachusetts, U.S., August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Cataldo Ambulance medics and other first responders revive a 32-year-old man who was found unresponsive and not breathing after an opioid overdose. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Lawyers for PF and the Sackler family met with at least 10 state attorney generals in late August and offered between $10 and $12 billion to reach a settlement, but the offer was reportedly rejected. The current settlement is tentative, however, and not every state is on board.

“I cannot speak to other states or divulge confidential negotiations, but Connecticut has not agreed to any settlement,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement. “The scope and scale of the pain, death and destruction that Purdue and the Sacklers have caused far exceeds anything that has been offered thus far.”

Purdue Pharma has repeatedly denied the allegations of deceptive marketing, vowing to “defend itself against these misleading attacks” in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. The company also pointed to a favorable ruling this spring when a state-court judge dismissed North Dakota’s suit against Purdue Pharma, arguing the company had no control over how distributors used its product. (RELATED: Largest Museum In US Says No Thanks To Donations From Sackler Family)

“While Purdue Pharma is prepared to defend itself vigorously in the opioid litigation, the company has made clear that it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals,” the company said in a statement. “The people and communities affected by the opioid crisis need help now. Purdue believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome.”

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