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Delaware remains in lawsuit against Purdue Pharma as most states agree to settle

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is among states still remaining in a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for the company’s role in the national opioid crisis.

Court documents filed Wednesday say 15 states are abandoning the fight against the makers of OxyContin in favor of a bankruptcy settlement.

The deal shelters the company’s owners, the Sackler family, from admitting any wrongdoing and from future opioid lawsuits if they give up ownership of the bankrupt company and pay $4.2 billion over the next decade.


Delaware, eight other states and the District of Columbia remain opposed to the deal.


In a statement, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings called Purdue’s conduct over the past 20 years “the deadliest drug dealing in our nation’s history,” adding she will “continue to work for a fair deal.”


She notes Delaware’s decision to continue does not stop the state from receiving its share of a court-approved settlement.


The bankruptcy deal also includes a public document repository which will make millions of documents public from the years when Purdue developed and promoted OxyContin—which public health experts say fueled the opioid crisis.


Jennings praised the effort from states involved in the deal to have these documents released.


Delaware’s rate of overdose deaths has accelerated steadily for years and it had the second highest rate in the nation for the past two years. 


There were a record 446 overdose deaths in Delaware last year.


The federal government settled its suit with Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers last year.


A confirmation hearing for the bankruptcy plan is scheduled next month.


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