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A Sweetheart Deal for the Sacklers: Billionaires Get Immunity from Civil Lawsuits over Opioid Crisis

Written by on 02/06/2023

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that members of the Sackler family can receive immunity from all current and future civil litigation related to their role in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic. The billionaire Sacklers own Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin. The legal shield could lead to a settlement in the range of $6 billion for thousands of plaintiffs, including states, local governments and tribes. Opioid overdoses have killed over 500,000 people in the U.S. over the past two decades, according to the CDC. For more, we speak with Ed Bisch, founder of the group Relatives Against Purdue Pharma, whose 18-year-old son, Eddie, died of an OxyContin-related overdose in 2001. He says drug company executives responsible for the opioid crisis should be prosecuted by the Department of Justice. And in Mexico City, Christopher Glazek is the investigative reporter who was the first to publicly report how the Sackler family had significantly profited from selling OxyContin while fully aware it was directly fueling the opioid epidemic in America. “The Sacklers did what they’ve always done: They struck a deal, they paid a bribe, and they’re getting away with it,” Glazek says of the latest settlement.

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