MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont, New York and New Hampshire are among many states that will not take part in a proposed $12 billion settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.
The tentative settlement announced Wednesday involves the company's role in helping to create the nation's opioid crisis. Officials at the Vermont attorney general's office confirmed that Vermont is not part of the settlement, which primarily targets Purdue and not the Sackler family, Purdue's owners.
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said in a statement that the proposed settlement is not "fully developed." He also said reports of a $10 to 12 billion offer are incorrect and that only a fraction of that is guaranteed. He says Vermont demands more certainty.
"I do not believe that going to bankruptcy court to create and spin-off a new, public benefit company is in the public’s interest. I would prefer to shut down the company, sell the company’s assets now, and put the proceeds to use helping Vermonters whose lives have been ruined," Donovan said.
Vermont took legal action in May against members of the Sackler family, who are believed to have withdrawn billions from the company. The lawsuit alleges that for over two decades the Sacklers personally oversaw Purdue's deceptive marketing campaign and directed the company's strategy to minimize the health risks of opioids.
While some attorneys general have praised the deal, nearly half the states are not on board. New York Attorney General Letitia James called the deal “an insult, plain and simple.”
New Hampshire Associate Attorney General James Boffetti said in a statement that the tentative agreement "does not sufficiently hold the Sackler family, who bear significant responsibility for this opioid crisis, accountable."