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There has been no settlement of opioid claims against Purdue Pharma.

After more than a month's mediation, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and several states were unable to reach a multibillion dollar settlement over lawsuits involving the drug's role as part of the opioid crisis .

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There has been no settlement of opioid claims against Purdue Pharma.

Purdue lawyer Marshall Huebner suggested that a mediator could request further talks between the parties. This was a sign that there might be a need for more mediation.

The hearing was conducted via video conference from White Plains, New York courtroom. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain extended legal protections to the company and its owners until March 3. This extension was made in order to give more time for a possible deal.

Drain stated that the case was too important for too many people, governmental entities, and other parties to be reacting in a way that is not yet complete.

The owners of Purdue, a Connecticut-based company, and the members of the Sackler clan who own it were cast as villains in the opioid addiction crisis that claimed more than 500,000 lives over the past 20 years.

Although OxyContin is a well-known prescription opioid, Native American, state and local governments have been suing and, in some cases, settling with many companies that distribute opioids.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019 after lawsuits began to mount over Purdue. Lawyers representing most states and local governments reached an agreement last year to settle all claims against Purdue.

The family of Sackler would surrender ownership of the company and it would be reorganized with profits to fight the drug crisis. The family would also be contributing $4.5 billion in cash, and other charitable assets. Family members would be protected from civil lawsuits arising out of the high cost of opioids.

The deal was accepted by most attorneys general. It would have required that the majority of the money be used against the opioid crisis. $750 million was sent to victims and their families. Millions of company documents were made public.

The attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia declined to sign the agreement, arguing that the deal did not hold the Sacklers responsible enough. After the bankruptcy judge approved it, the holdouts won an appeal. A second judge rejected the settlement last December. He ruled that bankruptcy courts couldn't provide legal protections for parties not in bankruptcy.

The court ruling led to a new round of mediation that included hundreds of hours of meetings by Zoom and phone, in order to reach a settlement between the company's representatives and the remaining attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

According to reports filed on Jan. 31st and February 8, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman, the mediator said that a deal including additional money from Sackler family members was possible. Drain gave each party a Wednesday deadline to reach an agreement.

They weren't able to get there, at the very least not on Thursday morning.

Huebner, a Purdue lawyer, said to Drain that he expected Chapman would file a new report on Friday. The other parties have not yet commented.

A group of seven Democratic U.S. Senators sent this week a letter to U.S. Department of Justice requesting criminal charges to be considered against Sackler's family members.

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