Purdue Pharma offers $10-12 billion to settle opioid claims

Summary and Analysis

According to this article and other news reports, the Sackler family is negotiating to settle the 2,000 suits that have been brought against Purdue Pharma for its role in causing the opioid crisis.

The billion dollar settlement would involve payments from the Sackler family as well as revenue generated from Purdue's pharmaceuticals.

According to the article, the Sackler family has threatened to file bankruptcy if the negotiation doesn't result in a settlement.

Excerpted from NBC News

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The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, are offering to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion. The potential deal was part of confidential conversations and discussed by Purdue’s lawyers at a meeting in Cleveland last Tuesday, Aug. 20, according to two people familiar with the mediation.

Brought by states, cities and counties, the lawsuits — some of which have been combined into one big case  allege the company and the Sackler family are responsible for starting and sustaining the opioid crisis.

At least 10 state attorneys general and the plaintiffs’ attorneys gathered in Cleveland, where David Sackler represented the Sackler family, according to two people familiar with the meeting. David Sackler, who was a board member of the company, has recently been the de facto family spokesperson.

The lawsuits that Purdue and the Sacklers are seeking to settle allege that their company’s sales practices were deceptive and at least partly responsible for the opioid crisis, which claimed more than 400,000 lives from 1999 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the lawsuits also allege that after 2007 the Sackler family drained the company of money to enrich themselves.

“The Sackler family built a multibillion-dollar drug empire based on addiction,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in May when his state joined others in suing the Sackler family and their company. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the first to name family members in her suit in January.