Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, NY, days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids. The filing was anticipated before and after the tentative deal, which could be worth up to $12 billion over time, was struck. "This settlement framework avoids wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years on protracted litigation," Steve Miller, chairman of Purdue's board of directors, said in a statement, "and instead will provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis."
But legal battles still lie ahead for Purdue, which is spending millions on legal costs as it defends itself in lawsuits from 2,600 government and other entities, the AP reports. About half the states have not signed onto the proposal. And several of them plan to object to the settlement in bankruptcy court and to continue litigation in other courts against members of the Sackler family, which owns the company. Key issues that could be decided include whether the suits against the Sacklers in state courts will be able to move ahead, and what will happen to the company itself. Under the tentative settlement deal, it would continue to operate, but with profits used to pay for the settlement. Another option could be for a judge to order it be sold.
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