CT’s attorney general announces historic settlement with Purdue Pharma

Connecticut’s attorney general announced a historic settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 11:20 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2022 at 1:05 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut’s attorney general announced a historic settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

Attorney General William Tong released the details of it during a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Hartford:

Attorney General William Tong released the details of the settlement during a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Hartford.

Tong said Connecticut led the multi-state negotiations and secured $32.5 billion from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family over the last year.

He said they will pay $6 billion to victims, survivors and states for their roll in the opioid epidemic, 40 percent more than the previously vacated settlement appealed by Connecticut.

Tong was joined by families, victims and survivors for the news conference on Thursday.

Historic opioid settlement reached

As part of the agreement, the Sackler family must apologize and allow institutions to remove the Sackler name from buildings and scholarships.

Tong said Connecticut will receive approximately $95 million from the settlement, which will be used to fund opioid treatment and prevention. The agreement authorizes Connecticut to use a portion of the settlement funds to establish an Opioid Survivors Trust to directly aid survivors and victims of the opioid epidemic.

The settlement keeps intact provisions of the Purdue bankruptcy plan forcing the company to be dissolved or sold by 2024 and bans the Sacklers from the opioid business in the United States and around the globe.

The initial bankruptcy plan required Purdue and the Sacklers to make public over 30 million documents. The settlement announced on Thursday forces disclosure of additional records previously withheld as privileged legal advice.

Tong said the announcement is a civil settlement. Neither this agreement nor the prior bankruptcy plan releases the Sacklers from any potential future criminal liability.

“Five months ago, Connecticut said no to a Purdue bankruptcy plan that allowed the Sackler family to purchase lifetime legal immunity without so much as an apology,” Tong said in a statement. “After months of negotiation and consultation with victims and their families, Connecticut has forced Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers to pay a $6 billion settlement and apologize in dollars, words, and actions. Connecticut will use its $95 million share to save lives through opioid treatment and prevention, and I will push to establish a Connecticut Opioid Survivors Trust to provide direct relief to victims and their families. But this fight has never been about the money. 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. 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.”

Tong said Connecticut first filed suit against Purdue and individual members of the Sackler family in 2018. It alleged that the company and family peddled a series of falsehoods to push patients toward its opioids and reaped massive profits while opioid addiction skyrocketed. Connecticut expanded and amended that suit in 2019 to add additional defendants and allegations, which included the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to shield their wealth from accountability.