Purdue Pharma to pay $270M to settle Oklahoma opioid lawsuit

Alia Paavola -

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the billionaire Sackler family will pay $270 million to resolve Oklahoma's claims that the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic, according to Reuters.

The settlement with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter comes just two months before the trial against Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals was scheduled to start. The deal came after The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Purdue Pharma could not delay the trial.

Oklahoma's lawsuit claimed the three opioid manufacturers misled physicians and patients about the risks associated with the painkillers, which played a significant role in the nationwide epidemic.

The settlement only covers Purdue Pharma, which leaves claims pending against J&J and Teva.

Purdue Pharma, J&J and Teva also face claims by three dozen other states and 1,600 U.S. cities and counties, which are pending in another court. Those trials are scheduled to start in the fall. Purdue Pharma has explored filing for bankruptcy to address potential liabilities stemming from the outstanding lawsuits. The settlement with Oklahoma will allow Purdue Pharma to avoid filing for bankruptcy for now, according to Reuters.

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