Maker of the opioid Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, is expected to file for bankruptcy protection now that settlement talks have hit a stalemate, according to Attorneys General of Tennessee and North Carolina.
The talks began as Perdue was to take accountability for their role in helping to further the American opioid crisis following a landmark verdict in an Oklahoma case where another pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay over $500 million for its role.
Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, offered to settle about 2,000 lawsuits for a reported $10–$12 billion following the Johnson & Johnson verdict. Discussions came to a halt when the Sacklers rejected two proposals and offered no other suitable alternatives, say the AGs.
In a joint email to the AGs in about 17 other states with similar cases against the drug maker, they wrote: “As a result, the negotiations are at an impasse, and we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently.”
According to the lawsuit filed by New York AG, Letitia James, Purdue made its fortune selling OxyContin while misleading the public and medical professionals about its addictive properties. Thousands more state and local governments have sued the drug maker, also, for contributing to the the crisis that has affected more than 400,000 Americans. Now, those governments, Purdue and the Sacklers are headed to bankruptcy court to figure out what happens next.
The company reached a previous settlement of $270-million with the state of Oklahoma in June to avoid a trial in that case.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears almost weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!