Members of the billionaire Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, are reportedly willing to give up ownership of the Stamford company and pay an additional $3 billion to $4.5 billion from their personal wealth to settle the 2,000-plus lawsuits they face.A source cited by CNN said the deal would involve the Sacklers paying $3 billion out of pocket, with up to another $1.5 billion coming from a sale of the company. Purdue is also reportedly contemplating filing for bankruptcy, in part to pay out as many settlements as possible, according to CNN.
A Purdue spokeswoman said that the firm “believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”
The OxyContin manufacturer has been hit with hundreds of lawsuits by state and municipal governments, as well as individuals, for its marketing practices. The complainants say those practices have contributed significantly to the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, which has killed 218,000 Americans since the late 1990s.
In March, Purdue settled Oklahoma’s lawsuit for $270 million. Late last month it was reported that Purdue and the Sacklers were offering to settle the remaining suits for $10 billion to $12 billion.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has vowed repeatedly to press on with the state’s legal action regardless of Purdue’s moves.