A US bankruptcy judge approved the settlement that Purdue Pharma and the Sackler families reached with a group of states that will require the Sacklers to pay out as much as $6 billion to states, individual claimants and opioid crisis abatement, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced Wednesday.
The new agreement, reached earlier this month after eight states and the District of Columbia ultimately appealed a previous deal, does not provide protection to the Sackler families from any future criminal liability relating to the opioid crisis.
“No settlement will ever come close to addressing the magnitude of suffering and harm caused by Purdue and the Sackler family,” Tong said in a statement. “But in reaching this $6 billion settlement we recognized that we could not stall this process forever for victims and our sister states.”
Tong added there will be a hearing on Thursday that will give “victims and survivors the opportunity to speak directly to the Sacklers and share the damage and destruction they have caused.”
“We are not done fighting for justice against the addiction industry,” Tong said.
As part of the deal, the Sackler families will allow any institution or organization nationwide to remove the Sackler name from physical facilities and academic, medical, and cultural programs, scholarships and endowments so long as the Sacklers are notified first and public statements announcing the name removal do not “disparage” the family.
In a pre-drafted statement, the Sackler families said they were “pleased to have reached a settlement with additional states that will allow very substantial additional resources to reach people and communities in need.”
“The families have consistently affirmed that settlement is by far the best way to help solve a serious and complex public health crisis. While the families have acted lawfully in all respects, they sincerely regret that OxyContin, a prescription medicine that continues to help people suffering from chronic pain, unexpectedly became part of an opioid crisis that has brought grief and loss to far too many families and communities,” it added.
In a statement to CNN last week, Purdue Pharma also said they were pleased with the settlement.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to make clear that Sackler family members could still be subject to criminal liability.