HARTFORD, Conn. — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Pennsylvania will not join a nationwide deal to settle lawsuits against Purdue Pharma over its role in allegedly fueling the opioid crisis.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative deal Wednesday with about half the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, but criticism by several state attorneys general clouded prospects for an end to litigation against the company and the family that owns it, the Associated Press reported.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is among those balking at the deal.
“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. It allows the Sackler family to walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing,” Shapiro said, referencing the family that owns the pharmaceutical giant.
“We know they targeted Pennsylvanians— especially seniors and veterans —which contributed to the crisis we are dealing with today that claims the lives of 12 Pennsylvanians a day,” Shapiro said. “I won’t let them get away with the harm they inflicted on our Commonwealth. This is far from over.”
The Associated Press reports that sources with direct knowledge of the talks say that Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue will pay up to $12 billion over time and that the Sackler family will give up control of the company.
Paul Farrell, an attorney for several local governments, said in a text message that some 2,000 have agreed to a deal that has been on the table for several weeks.
Even with Wednesday’s development, roughly half the states had not signed on, and several state attorneys general vowed to continue their legal battles against the company and the Sacklers. Roughly 20 states have sued the Sacklers in state court.
Officials from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut have also said they will not accept the settlement.