15 States Settle With Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma For $4.5B: 'The Most That Individuals Have Ever Paid For Breaking The Law'

The 15 states that had opposed Purdue Pharma’s controversial bankruptcy plan finally landed on a deal that clears the way for a $4.5 billion settlement, reported various media outlets.

As part of the deal, Purdue will release millions of documents that detail the company’s role in the opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, many due to OxyContin overdose and other addiction-related causes.

Under the terms of the deal, the Sackler family, owner of the now-bankrupt company, will pay an additional $50 million, a pittance from the family’s estimated fortune of $11 billion, much of which was earned by Purdue's aggressive sale of OxyContin.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “We’re holding the Sackler family accountable for their role in fueling the opioid crisis. $4.5 billion will go toward prevention, treatment and recovery programs in communities across the U.S. Purdue will shut down and the Sacklers will never make opioids again.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey added that the fine imposed on the Sackler family under the terms of the deal might be “the most that individuals have ever paid for breaking the law.”

But, it’s not enough she said.

“While these terms are unprecedented, I will be the first to tell you they are not enough. You cannot put a price on a life, nor can we ignore that the Sacklers abused our justice system,” Healey added. “We need federal legislation to close the loophole they exploited in bankruptcy court.”

The settlement, which is likely to be passed next month, shields the Sacklers and their associates from future opioid lawsuits.

States Involved In Lawsuit

Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin signed off on the deal with Purdue. Nine states and the District of Columbia have yet to sign off.

The concessions outlined in the settlement will be added to a proposal being voted on by over 3,000 plaintiffs, including cities, counties, tribes and states who sought action against Purdue and its owners for their role in the opioid epidemic, reported the New York Times.

Encuentra nuestro contenido en Español en El Planteo.

Photo: Jessica Hatchell from Pixabay

Posted In: $4.5 billion lawsuitLMassachusetts Attorney General Maura HealeyNew York Attorney General Letitia JamesNew York TimesOxycontinPurdue PharmaCannabisGovernmentNewsHealth CarePoliticsLegalEventsMarketsGeneral