HAWAII ATTORNEY GENERAL CONNORS ANNOUNCES RESOLUTION WITH PURDUE PHARMA AND THE SACKLER FAMILY FOR THEIR ROLE IN THE OPIOID CRISIS
News Release from Hawaii Attorney General, Jul 9, 2021
HONOLULU – Attorney General Connors announced Hawaii’s participation in a nationwide resolution of lawsuits against the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, that will require them to pay more than $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in communities across the country, as well as make public tens of millions of documents related to their role in the opioid crisis.
The nationwide resolution, which also resolves the civil enforcement action Attorney General Connors brought against Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers on behalf of the State, was filed in bankruptcy court on Wednesday night and remains subject to approval. Specifically, it requires Purdue Pharma to be either sold or wound down by 2024. It also requires the Sacklers to make one of the largest individual payments ever made in U.S. history to resolve a law enforcement action. In addition, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers must make public more than 30 million documents, including attorney-client privileged communications about the original FDA approval of OxyContin and the tactics used to promote opioids.
“This resolution holds the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma accountable for their role in the promotion of opioids and the crisis that ensued, which ruined so many lives across this nation and here in Hawai‘i,” said Attorney General Connors. “While no amount of money can repair the damage caused, this resolution will fund opioid abatement programs in Hawai‘i and establishes a document repository that ensures the public has access to the truth about this tragedy.”
Under the terms of the resolution, Purdue will turn over for public disclosure the evidence obtained from lawsuits and investigations of Purdue over the past 20 years, including deposition transcripts, deposition videos and upwards of 13 million documents. Purdue also will be required to turn over every non-privileged email that was sent or received by members of the Sackler family who sat on the Board or worked at the company. Lastly, Purdue will waive its attorney-client privilege and reveal confidential communications with its lawyers about tactics for pushing opioids, FDA approval of OxyContin, diversion of drugs by “pill mill” doctors and pharmacies, and the billions of dollars Purdue paid out directly to the Sacklers. Thousands of individual victims of Purdue’s misconduct also will receive compensation as part of the bankruptcy process.
Of the $4.325 billion the Sacklers will pay over the next nine years, Hawai‘i is expected to receive an estimated $13 million for opioid abatement. Under the terms of the plan, the Sacklers will be permanently banned from the opioid business. The resolution also requires the Sacklers to relinquish control of family foundations holding $175 million in assets to the trustees of a foundation dedicated to abating the opioid crisis. Further, the Sackler family will be prohibited from requesting or permitting any new naming rights in connection with charitable or similar donations or organizations for the next nine years.
A copy of the report is available here.
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