Purdue Pharma in Settlement Talks to Resolve Opioid Lawsuits

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The Sackler family would give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, the company blamed for much of the opioid epidemic, and pay $3 billion of their own money under terms of a settlement proposal to resolve thousands of federal and state lawsuits, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, The New York Times reports. The discussions have been going on for months as Purdue and the Sacklers have sought to prevent any new lawsuits against individual members of the family as well as their company. If all the parties agree and the settlement is completed, Purdue would be the first among some two dozen manufacturers, distributors and retailers of prescription opioids facing lawsuits nationwide to settle all claims against it for its role in a public health crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the past two decades.

A document outlining a tentative negotiated agreement, which was described to The New York Times, valued the family’s and company’s contributions at between $10 billion and $12 billion, including the $3 billion Sackler contribution. The bulk of the funds would come from restructuring the company under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that would transform it from a private company into a “public beneficiary trust.” Leaders of the 2,000 plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit pending in federal court are seriously considering the offer, according to one person with knowledge of the negotiations, The Washington Post reports.

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