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Tentative Deal Reached in Purdue Pharma Lawsuits

OxyContin maker reaches tentative settlement with some of the states, governments suing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 11, 2019 5:21 PM CDT
In this August 2018 file photo, family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses protest outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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(Newser) – A tentative settlement announced Wednesday over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation's opioid addiction crisis falls short of the far-reaching national settlement the OxyContin maker had been seeking for months, with litigation sure to continue against the company and the family that owns it. The agreement with about half the states and attorneys representing roughly 2,000 local governments would have Purdue file for a structured bankruptcy and pay as much as $12 billion over time, with about $3 billion coming from the Sackler family. That number involves future profits and the value of drugs currently in development. In addition, the family would have to give up its ownership of the company and contribute another $1.5 billion by selling another of its pharmaceutical companies, Mundipharma, the AP reports.

Several attorneys general said the agreement was a better way to ensure compensation from Purdue and the Sacklers than taking their chances if Purdue files for bankruptcy on its own. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the deal "was the quickest and surest way to get immediate relief for Arizona and for the communities that have been harmed by the opioid crisis and the actions of the Sackler family." The tentative agreement and expected bankruptcy filing would remove Purdue from the first federal trial over the opioid epidemic, scheduled to begin next month in Ohio. But even with Wednesday's development, many states have not signed on. Several state attorneys general vowed to continue their legal battles against the company in bankruptcy court and the Sacklers. Roughly 20 states have sued members of the Sackler family in state courts.

(Read more Purdue Pharma stories.)

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