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Indiana attorney general moves to accept Purdue Pharma’s tentative settlement in a class action lawsuit

Theodoros & Rooth has reported earlier this year on the issues surrounding Purdue Pharma’s alleged role in the on-going opioid crisis.

In the latest development, according to an Associated Press report, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill recently announced that he would accept Purdue Pharma’s tentative settlement in a class action lawsuit, citing the uncertainty of the OxyContin manufacturer’s future profits following their bankruptcy filing.

“Under the proposed solution supported by 29 attorneys general, money starts flowing to those who need it most. The framework holds both Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family directly accountable for their roles in this devastating crisis,” Hill said in a statement. “The alternative to these positive outcomes is protracted litigation with an uncertain future, especially in light of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy proceedings.”

The federal lawsuit, set to begin next month in Ohio, seeks to hold opioid manufacturers responsible for misleading advertising about the addictive drugs, which plaintiffs argue contributed to nation’s addiction crisis. Purdue Pharma announced a tentative settlement on Sept. 11.

Steve Miller, the chairman of Purdue Pharma’s board of directors, the company admits to no wrongdoing and doesn’t intend to. “The alternative is to not settle but instead to resume the litigation,” Miller said, according to The Associated Press. “The resumption of litigation would rapidly diminish all the resources of the company and would be lose-lose-lose all the way around. Whatever people might wish for is not on the table now.”

Hill further highlighted “The opportunity to recover more than $5 billion” in his release, calling it a significant breakthrough in our important fight against the opioid crisis.”

The deal could total up to $12 billion over time, with the company’s future profits diverted to pay for the settlement.

The agreement would require the Sackler family, which owns the drug-manufacturing giant, to contribute at least $3 billion and leave the pharmaceutical business both domestically and internationally, according to Hill’s release.

According to the attorney general’s opioid litigation site, opioid prescribing peaked in 2012, with 112 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Hoosiers. The state’s opioid recovery site attributed at least 318 overdose deaths in 2017 to prescribed opioids such as OxyContin, or approximately 28% of all 1,118 opioid deaths.

The AG’s Office did not release any information about how much Indiana could expect from the agreement or how the state would use the funds to help Hoosiers addicted to prescription or non-prescription opioids.

Since 1999, more than 15,000 Hoosiers have died from drug overdoses, according to a Department of Health Report. At its peak in 2017, the 1,800 total deaths averaged to five Hoosier deaths per day from an opioid overdose, making it 14th in the nation for opioid overdoses.

Purdue Pharma, which includes three Stamford, Connecticut-based companies, is not affiliated with Purdue University.

While Theodoros & Rooth is not involved with the litigation surrounding Purdue Pharma, we take great interest in any issues surrounding any alleged abuse of prescription and other medications, whether it be by doctors or the pharmaceutical companies themselves.

If you believe that you or a member of your family has been a victim, please contact us immediately. Theodoros & Rooth will carefully listen and analyze your situation. If we believe there may be a case, we will represent you aggressively to hold the at fault party accountable. There is never a charge unless we win your case. We have well over a century of combined experience in the area of personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability.

Sources include AP Reports.