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Bankruptcy Case Reveals that Purdue Pharma Sent $13B in Profits to Sackler Family

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The world headquarters of Purdue Pharma in Connecticut. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

By: Kevin Doherty

Attorneys general representing nearly half the states and lawyers for more than 500 local governments on Friday were outraged over the terms of Purdue Pharma’s offer to settle thousands of lawsuits over the nation’s opioid crisis in court filings, The NY Post reported.

The Post reported that the tentative deal does not contain an admission of wrongdoing from members of the Sackler family. The terms also would not stop family members from future misconduct and wouldn’t force them to repay money “they pocketed from their illegal conduct.”

Purdue reached the agreement in September with 23 state governments and 2,000 cities and counties that were trying to hold the company accountable for what many saw as a case of putting greed before people’s lives, as was reported previously in TJV. .

Under the settlement, Purdue will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and dissolve, while the Sackler family will relinquish control of the company.

The Sackler family, ranked by Forbes in 2016 as the 19th richest in America, will pay about $3 billion in cash over seven years as part of the settlement, which does not include any acknowledgment of wrongdoing, according to the NY Post report.

“While our country continues to recover from the carnage left by the Sacklers’ greed, this family is now attempting to evade responsibility and lowball the millions of victims of the opioid crisis,” New York Attorney General Letitia James told the Post.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro added, “This apparent settlement is a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one due to this family’s destruction and greed.”

The Jewish Voice reported that the Sackler family may be able to retain most of its vast financial treasure trove as part of a newly put forward Purdue settlement agreement.

The lawyer’s documents said members of the Sackler family — one of the wealthiest in the U.S. — made $12 billion to $13 billion from Purdue, a higher amount than court records had previously given, The NY Post reported.

“The offer does not shut down Purdue; instead it would keep Purdue in business under a new name, so that settlement money could be collected from future OxyContin sales,” the attorneys general said in their filing. “If the States accepted the offer, there would never be a trial to determine the Sacklers’ liability for one of the greatest public health crises of our time.”

Friday’s court filings object to Purdue’s request that all lawsuits against members of the Sackler family be halted as part of tentative settlement terms that are being considered in bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, the Post reported

The Washington Post reported on some more of the details of the highly contested and critiqued settlement: “Purdue would produce millions of doses of badly needed anti-addiction medication and overdose antidotes for the public, free of charge; the company would also contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and insurance policies that could be worth more; what’s left of the company, including its North Carolina production facility and other assets, would change hands,” the Washington Post added

. “Much of the benefit to the public would be funded by the continued sales of the powerful narcotic OxyContin, the abuse of which is blamed for contributing to the prescription opioid crisis that has killed more than 200,000 people since 1999.”

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