Purdue says settlement talks over opioid litigation continue

Despite recent suggestions that talks to settle lawsuits related to the US opioid crisis are at an impasse, Purdue Pharma said "negotiations continue and we remain dedicated to a resolution." The drugmaker added that while it is prepared to defend itself in litigation, it "believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals."

Purdue's statement came shortly after an email from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said that Purdue and the Sackler family, which owns the OxyContin maker, rejected two offers from the states over how payments under any settlement would be handled, while the family would not make any counteroffers. Slatery and Stein added "we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently."

Sources suggested last month that Purdue and the Sackler family had offered as much as $12 billion as part of an agreement to resolve the opioid lawsuits that would also see the company declare bankruptcy.

However, Paul Hanly, a lead lawyer for the group of local governments, unions, hospitals and others suing the company in federal court, said in a statement that any breakdown in talks didn't represent his group of clients. Hanly added that his plaintiffs "will continue to explore resolution of our clients' claims against Purdue and the Sacklers, whether with or without the states and within or without bankruptcy court."

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