SEATTLE — Washington state has not agreed to a lawsuit settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, according to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as reports emerged that several states and cities agreed to a tentative deal.
The drugmaker is offering $10 to $12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits brought by cities and states alleging the company is responsible for starting the nation’s opioid crisis, NBC News reported Wednesday.
“What they’ve put on the table right now is woefully short of what’s needed,” Ferguson said.
Washington state is suing Purdue Pharma for allegedly deceiving doctors and patients and fueling a deadly opioid epidemic, which he said claims an average of two lives each day in Washington.
Ferguson is pushing for a February trial which he hopes will hold Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, accountable.
“The idea of settling is all fine and good, but it needs to be a settlement that does not leave the Sacklers as billionaires, never expressing so much as an apology for what went wrong,” Ferguson said.
Seattle and Everett are also suing Purdue Pharma.
“We are not able to comment on the news reports concerning settlement discussions with Purdue. However, if a global settlement develops, then Everett will have an opportunity to decide whether to participate in such a settlement or continue pursuing its lawsuit,” an Everett spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office said the city had not decided whether it will join the settlement. The city’s legal team plans to meet to discuss the next steps.