Mass. AG announces $4.3 billion settlement with Sackler family in Purdue Pharma

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By Web Staff

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    BOSTON, Massachusetts (WCVB) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Thursday announced the terms of a $4.3 billion settlement that resolves a three-year-long legal fight against Purdue Pharma in connection with the opioid crisis.

Healey filed a lawsuit in 2018 that alleged Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, and company executives lied about the addictive nature of its drugs. She alleged that the Connecticut-based company “created the epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit.”

In 2019, Purdue Pharma reached a settlement, reported to be between $7 billion and $9 billion, with 22 other states and more than 2,000 cities and counties but Healey opposed that version of the settlement. She argued the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, would not be contributing enough of their own fortune under the terms of the agreement.

In tweets posted Thursday morning, Healey revealed a settlement under which the Sacklers will pay $4.3 billion, including $90 million for Massachusetts. The agreement is $50 million more than the family had previously agreed to contribute to the overall settlement.

“We believe (it is) the most that individuals have ever paid for breaking the law,” Healey wrote.

A court filing also indicates that $175 million held in Sackler family charities will go toward abating the opioid crisis.

Additionally, the agreement requires Purdue Pharma to post a public archive of evidence from every lawsuit and investigation into the company, as well as 20 million additional documents never before seen by investigators. That will include communications with the company’s lawyers.

“Additionally, the Sacklers will be permanently banned from the opioid business, Purdue will be sold or wound down by the end of 2024, and the family name can’t be placed on any more buildings or hospital wings for a long time,” Healey said. “We will put an end to their legacy.”

Healey was the first attorney general to sue members of the Sackler family.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. I am eternally grateful to the families whose strength and perseverance shaped this case and will continue to guide our work to combat this crisis in the years ahead.

— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) July 8, 2021 Healey is scheduled to be joined by Gov. Charlie Baker for an announcement about the settlement at 12:45 p.m.

Additionally, more than a dozen states dropped their longstanding objections to OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s reorganization plan, edging the company closer to resolving its bankruptcy case and transforming itself into a new entity that helps combat the U.S. opioid epidemic through its own profits.

Purdue sought bankruptcy protection in 2019 as a way to settle about 3,000 lawsuits it faced from state and local governments and other entities. They claimed the company’s continued marketing of its powerful prescription painkiller contributed to a crisis that has been linked to nearly 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the last two decades.

Attempts late Wednesday and early Thursday by the Associated Press to reach representatives of the Sacklers, Purdue and other attorneys general were unsuccessful.

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