Report: OxyContin maker expected to file for bankruptcy

Judge in opioid trial denies bias, refuses to disqualify himself
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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is expected to file for bankruptcy after settlement talks over the overdose crisis have hit an impasse, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Now the first trial over the opioid epidemic is on track to start next month. The legal drama will involve nearly every state and many local governments, the AP said.

Purdue Pharma was involved in talks to settle thousands of federal and state lawsuits.

The AP obtained an email from the attorneys general of Tennessee of North Carolina, saying that Purdue and the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, had rejected two offers on how to handle payments. The wire service said the family didn’t offer counterproposals.

“As a result, the negotiations are at an impasse, and we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently,” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein wrote in the message, which was sent to attorneys general throughout the country, the AP reported.

“Purdue declines to comment on that in its entirety,” Purdue spokeswoman Josephine Martin told the AP about the revelation.

It’s not clear what a breakdown in talks would mean for the Sackler family, which is sued by at least 17 states, the wire service said.

The lawsuits allege that Purdue aggressively sold the drug and marketed it as having a low risk of addiction, but knew that wasn’t true, Fox News reported. The company said it didn’t realize the drug was being abused.