Attorney General Aaron Ford said on Twitter on Wednesday that the State of Nevada does not accept the $12 billion dollar settlement that Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, has proposed to some of the many jurisdictions that have sued the company.
Ford filed an expanded lawsuit in June against more than 40 opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family that controls the company.
“Nevada has been hit particularly hard by this epidemic, with thousands of Nevada lives lost, and we will not rest until those responsible have been brought to justice,” Ford said in the Twitter post. “For those reasons, among others, the State of Nevada cannot accept the proposed settlement and will continue fighting to hold Purdue and the Sackler family responsible.”
The $12 billion tentative settlement reported by The Associated Press on Wednesday hypothetically would have been paid by Purdue Pharma and shared between participating jurisdictions. The agreement also would require the Sackler family to give up control of the company over time.
Asked for further comment on the decision, Ford’s office provided the following statement on Thursday.
“A majority of states opposed the settlement proposed by Purdue and the Sacklers as not going far enough to help redress the national opioid epidemic. We have heard the voices of families across the country calling for justice, and believe Purdue’s proposal does not provide anything close to the $10-12 billion that has been touted, nor does it provide the kind of accountability we feel is necessary,” the statement said. “We will continue our fight to reveal what this company and its executives and directors did, and most importantly, to bring justice to our communities.”
Roughly 20 state attorneys general have sued Purdue and the Sackler family for contributing to opioid and prescription drug crises nationwide. Some, such as Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, say they are accepting the deal.
Officials say there were 360 opioid deaths in Nevada in 2018. The number of opioid prescriptions has dropped from 74.9 per 100 Nevada residents in 2017 to 52 per 100 Nevada residents in 2018.
Updated at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2019 to add additional statement from Ford.