Wisconsin is not part of a tentative settlement between Purdue Pharma and 22 states that sued the company over its role in the opioid crisis. The Washington Post reports that an executive committee of attorneys representing cities, counties and other groups in a federal lawsuit is recommending the deal be accepted.
But some state attorneys general, who sued Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family are not on board. That includes Wisconsin’s Josh Kaul, who releasded the following:
“The Sackler family has made billions of dollars from the sale of opioids. Wisconsin has alleged that two Purdue Pharma entities and Richard Sackler contributed to the opioid epidemic through unlawful conduct. We’re committed to getting justice and, in my view, Purdue’s current position doesn’t achieve that.”
The co-chairs of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Representative John Nygren and Senator Alberta Darling, also released a statement:
“Through media reports, the attorney general stated Wisconsin is not one of the states agreeing to settle the Purdue Pharma case at this time.
We hope those reporters have signed non-disclosure agreements, because they are getting ‘confidential’ information from the attorney general that he refused to share with members of the Joint Committee on Finance.
It’s clear the attorney general did not need signed secrecy agreements to share case information. Now we know there wasn’t an ’emergency’ settlement to present to the committee two weeks ago. The attorney general should stop playing games, follow the law, and work with the Joint Committee on Finance.”
Kaul and the JFC co-chairs are currently involved in a dispute over lawsuit settlements. A law passed during last December’s lame-duck session requires the AG to get the approval for settlements from the Joint Finance Committee – but there is no process in place determining how that would work.
The Post reports that under terms of a plan negotiated for months, the Sacklers would relinquish control of Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma. The company would declare bankruptcy and be resurrected as a trust whose main purpose would be to combat the opioid epidemic.