Members of the Sackler family could withdraw their pledge to pay $3 billion as part of a nationwide deal to address the opioid crisis if a bankruptcy judge does not block outstanding state lawsuits against them and their company, Purdue Pharma, Purdue lawyers said in a legal complaint.
Whether the threat is posturing or real, the move by Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, to inject it into the company’s bankruptcy proceeding could jeopardize the tentative settlement it reached last week with representatives of thousands of local governments that have brought lawsuits against it. Two dozen state attorneys general who have sued the company in their own courts have signed on to the agreement, too.
The $3 billion to be paid over seven years, plus another contribution the Sacklers would make with the proceeds of the sale of their British drug company, Mundipharma, is a key component of the deal. But all lawsuits must be resolved, the lawyers said.