Okla. Opioid Settlement Safe Amid Pharma Giant's Bankruptcy
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office is reassuring the money won from opioid-maker Purdue Pharma is safe after the pharmaceutical giant announced bankruptcy on Monday.
At the beginning of the wave of lawsuits against drug-makers, there were worries that a major bankruptcy could be in the works. Oklahoma Settled with Purdue Pharma back in March for a landmark 270 million dollars. The state has already received a large portion of the settlement money from the company and the rest is expected to come from the Sackler family which owns Purdue, according to Hunter’s office.
The agreement is also past the 90-day look back deadline, which means the settlement money still needs to be paid no matter the future of Purdue Pharma.
But in Oklahoma, more than 50 other lawsuits still hang in the balance in some of the most populated counties and cities. Those are places, mostly represented by the same law firm Fulmer and Sill, like Pottowatomie, Comanche and Oklahoma counties along with Lawton, Edmond, Mustang, Yukon, Jenks and Oklahoma City. For those lawsuits, tens of millions, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars, could be lost if a decision isn't reached.
In Oklahoma County alone, officials estimate the opioid crisis has caused more than $23 million in damages a year and cost the “county community” nearly $380 million a year. Those and nearly 2000 others are still pending across the country.