Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family will pay $6 billion to settle lawsuits with a host of states over their role in the opioid epidemic.
Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family — the founders and owners of the company — will pay the $6 billion to victims, survivors and states as a result of their role in the opioid crisis, with that tally totaling 40% more than the previously vacated settlement appealed by the state of Connecticut, according to a news release from Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong.
As part of the settlement, the Sackler family must apologize and allow institutions to remove the Sackler name from buildings and scholarships, while Connecticut will receive approximately $95 million from the settlement. Those funds are earmarked for funding opioid treatment and prevention, as the agreement authorizes the state to use a portion of the settlement to establish an opioid survivors trust.
The settlement keeps intact provisions of the Purdue bankruptcy plan, forcing the company to be dissolved or sold by 2024 and banning the Sacklers from the opioid business in the U.S. and around the globe. The settlement forces the disclosure of records previously withheld as privileged legal advice in addition to the more than 30 million documents that were to be made public by Purdue and the Sacklers as per the initial bankruptcy plan.
Connecticut’s announcement covers a civil settlement, so neither the agreement nor the prior bankruptcy plan releases the Sacklers from any potential future criminal liability.
The Sackler family’s payments are spread over 18 years, with larger payments frontloaded so Connecticut will receive more money sooner in comparison to the previous bankruptcy plan. Mediator Judge Shelley C. Chapman also strongly urged the bankruptcy court to require the Sacklers to participate in a public hearing in which victims and their survivors would be given an opportunity to directly address the family.
“After years of lies and denial, the Sackler family must now directly apologize for the pain they have caused. They must reckon face-to-face with the survivors of their reckless greed at a public hearing. Museums and universities may now scrub the tarnished Sackler name from their walls—ensuring this family is remembered throughout history for their callous disdain for human suffering and nothing else,” said in a news release. “This settlement is both significant and insufficient —constrained by the inadequacies of our federal bankruptcy code. But Connecticut cannot stall this process indefinitely as victims and our sister states await a resolution. This settlement resolves our claims against Purdue and the Sacklers, but we are not done fighting for justice against the addiction industry and against our broken bankruptcy code.”