PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Purdue Pharma, the former manufacturer of OxyContin, has reached a new settlement deal with Oregon, Washington and six other states for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis.
In September, the now-defunct company agreed to pay $4.3 billion to states, cities and tribes in a bankruptcy settlement. The attorneys general in eight states and Washington D.C. appealed the settlement, saying it wasn’t enough for the damage done.
“I just thought that was woefully insufficient for the harm that was caused by the Sackler family,” said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Purdue was founded and owned by the Sackler family for more than a century.
On Thursday, a federal judge agreed and ordered the Sackler family to pay more than $1.1 billion in addition the original settlement deal.
That means Oregon, which was originally slated to receive $56 million from the settlement, would get at least $90 million. Washington state was going to receive about $70 million, but would now get at least $183 million.
The bulk of the money will go toward opioid treatment, recovery and prevention, and some of it will go to the families of overdose victims.
“Not all the money in the world will bring back the lost lives and the lives torn apart by the conduct of the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharmaceuticals. I recognize that my colleagues recognize that,” Ferguson said. “But these billions of dollars will do an awful lot of good to help people right now.”
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum pushed hard to make the Sacklers pay in other ways as well, like paving the way for their family name to be removed from hospital wings and museums.
“We don’t have a moment to waste. We have a serious ongoing problem. We have opioid deaths every day in our state,” Rosenblum said.
Although a new settlement deal has been approved, the appeals process will likely take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ferguson said he expects it to reach the Supreme Court in 12 to 16 months.