Opioid claims against Purdue Pharma reach whopping $2.2 trillion

Aug. 18, 2020

Purdue Pharma has already filed for bankruptcy and settled opioid-related litigation with one state — but the mounting claims against the company from the rest of the country are reaching an eye-popping level.

All told, the litigation claims from 49 U.S. states and several territories now amount to $2.2 trillion. The thousands of lawsuits all center around allegations that Purdue deceptively marketed the narcotic painkiller OxyContin and fueled the opioid crisis, which the plaintiffs says caused 200,000 deaths in the U.S. between 1999 and 2016. California alone is seeking $196 billion and New York wants $165 billion. Purdue is also facing criminal and civil investigations by the DOJ that could result in $18 billion in penalties.

But as the claims grow, it's doubtful that the company or its owners — the Sackler family — will be able to pay the amount plaintiffs are seeking. According to Reuters, Purdue is now only worth $2 billion if liquidated. 

The Sacklers have also floated a settlement agreement that would include more than $10 billion for drug addiction funds. But several states have rejected the settlement proposal. 

Read the full Reuters report.