Purdue Pharma federal lawsuit reaches tentative settlement

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UPDATE: HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Attorneys representing some 2,000 local governments say they have agreed to a tentative settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over the toll of the nation’s opioid crisis.

Attorney Paul Farrell says in a text message Wednesday that they have agreed to a deal in which Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue would pay up to $12 billion and have the Sackler family, which owns the company, give up control.

The offer is the same as one publicly reported several weeks ago. It was not clear whether the announcement signaled the end of the fraught negotiations to reach a nationwide settlement with Purdue or moved the talks into a new phase.

Original Story (September 10, 2019):

The Sackler family could give up its ownership of Purdue Pharma and up to $4.5 billion of their own money, as one possible settlement option over the more than 2,000 lawsuits filed against their company, a person with knowledge of the negotiations tells CNN.

The source said the Sacklers would no longer own Purdue Pharma and pay $3 billion out of pocket, plus up to another $1.5 billion dependent on the sale of the company. In this framework, Purdue’s bankruptcy claim is being contemplated as a strategy to preserve the value of the company and pay out as many settlements as possible, the source added.

Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, is at the center of the opioid crisis in America.

Yesterday, two state attorneys general involved in the talks indicated the negotiations with the Sackler family had broken down, according to a letter provided to CNN by a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

According to the letter, the Sacklers have rejected two proposals, which included a payment of $4.5 billion to creditors and the states. No counter offers were given. The attorneys general from Tennessee and North Carolina also write they expect Purdue Pharma to file for bankruptcy protection “imminently.”

A Purdue spokeswoman yesterday reaffirmed to CNN that the company wants to settle and “believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”

Previous reports from The New York Times, the Washington Post and NBC news said that the Sackler family would give up ownership of Purdue Pharma and pay at least $3 billion of its own money under terms of the settlement proposal.

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