Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan issued the following statement today regarding the state's decision to reject an offer by the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma which markets the pharmaceutical opioid OxyContin:
"The State of Vermont rejected the settlement offer from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family for the following reasons. First, the offer is not fully developed and we want to be certain that any benefit is not illusory. The value of the settlement is not fully guaranteed. It has been reported that the total value of the offer is $10-12 billion. That is incorrect. Only a fraction is guaranteed. Vermont demands more certainty and guarantees regarding the money in order to effectively address the opioids crisis in Vermont.
"Second, I do not believe that going to bankruptcy court to create and spin-off a new, public benefit company is in the public’s interest. I would prefer to shut down the company, sell the company’s assets now, and put the proceeds to use helping Vermonters whose lives have been ruined.
"Third, I want to be sure that billionaires can’t use bankruptcy court as a vehicle to avoid accountability.
"I believe in due process. I believe in the rule of law. But I also believe that the story needs to be told about how this epidemic started. For those reasons, Vermont rejected the settlement offer and will continue to fight on behalf of Vermonters."
According to NBC News, officials in 27 states and territories and lawyers for more than 2,000 cities and counties announced Wednesday they had agreed to a tentative multi-billion-dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin, for its role in the opioid crisis, but at least 20 other state attorneys general who are suing the drug company told NBC News they have not agreed to the deal with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, which owns the firm.
Last March the Vermont AG joined a suit against the Sacklers (AG Donovan sues Sackler family, makers of OxyContin).
Source: Office of the Attorney General. Montpelier 9.12.2019