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Attorneys: OxyContin maker agrees to tentative settlement; Connecticut holds out

Purdue Pharma headquarters stands in downtown Stamford (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

HARTFORD  — Attorneys for some 2,000 local governments say they have agreed to a tentative settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over the toll of the nation’s opioid crisis.

Attorney Paul Farrell said in a text message Wednesday that they have agreed to a deal that has been on the table for several weeks.

Sources with direct knowledge of the talks say that Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue will pay up to $12 billion over time and that the Sackler family, which owns the company, will give up control. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The offer is the same as one publicly reported several weeks ago. It was not clear whether the announcement signaled the end of the fraught negotiations to reach a nationwide settlement with Purdue or moved the talks into a new phase.

One of the sources speaking on condition of anonymity said more than 20 states also had agreed to the tentative settlement.

But many state attorneys general. including Connecticut Attorney General  William Tong, say they remained opposed, and more than 20 have sued the Sacklers separately in state court.

“I cannot speak to other states or divulge confidential negotiations, but Connecticut has not agreed to any settlement. Our position remains firm and unchanged and nothing for us has changed today. The scope and scale of the pain, death and destruction that Purdue and the Sacklers have caused far exceeds anything that has been offered thus far. Connecticut’s focus is on the victims and their families, and holding Purdue and the Sacklers accountable for the crisis they have caused. I cannot predict whether Purdue will seek bankruptcy, but all I can say is we are ready to aggressively pursue this case wherever it goes—whether it is in the Connecticut courts or through bankruptcy.”

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