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What a Purdue Pharma bankruptcy means for the Sackler family

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 12 September 2019
Purdue Pharma could be heading for bankruptcy but the extent to which it would affect the Sackler family fortunes remains unclear.

The company, which makes OxyContin and other drugs, this week reached a tentative agreement with thousands of local governments and more than 20 states over its role in the opioid crisis that has contributed to the death of thousands of Americans.

As part of that deal, the company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Sacklers would lose control of the business and the family could pay up to $4.5 billion. But some states are refusing to sign on, saying it doesn't do enough to hold the Sacklers and their company accountable.

The legal battle will play out in court over time, but here's what we know now:

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WHAT ROLE DID THE SACKLERS PLAY IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS?

Purdue Pharma, based in Stamford, Connecticut, was founded in 1952 by three brothers β€” Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler β€” all physicians. Arthur Sackler sold his stake before the business took off in the mid-90s, when it began to sell OxyContin.

All three of the founders have died. Some of their heirs, through various positions over time, have run much of the day-to-day operations of the company and served on its board. All have left the board in recent years.

Eight of the family members β€” Richard, Jonathan, Mortimer, Kathe, Beverly, Theresa and David Sackler and Ilene Sackler Lefcourt β€” are named repeatedly in lawsuits nationwide for their roles; some suits name many more.

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HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THE SACKLER FAMILY HAVE?

The Sacklers' net worth was an estimated $13 billion as of 2016, making them America's 19th-richest family, according to Forbes magazine. But the exact value of their fortune is not known and believed by some to be much larger.

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Video credit: Reuters Studio - Published
News video: Purdue reaches tentative opioid settlement -sources

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative agreement with some plaintiffs to resolve widespread litigation over its alleged role in fueling the U.S. opioid crisis and plans to tussle with states opposing its settlement offer in bankruptcy proceedings starting as soon as next week, people...

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