Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Donovan’s Statement on Rejecting the Settlement Offer from the Sacklers

September 12, 2019

The State of Vermont rejected the settlement offer from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family for the following reasons. First, the offer is not fully developed and we want to be certain that any benefit is not illusory. The value of the settlement is not fully guaranteed. It has been reported that the total value of the offer is $10-12 billion. That is incorrect. Only a fraction is guaranteed. Vermont demands more certainty and guarantees regarding the money in order to effectively address the opioids crisis in Vermont.

Second, I do not believe that going to bankruptcy court to create and spin-off a new, public benefit company is in the public’s interest. I would prefer to shut down the company, sell the company’s assets now, and put the proceeds to use helping Vermonters whose lives have been ruined.

Third, I want to be sure that billionaires can’t use bankruptcy court as a vehicle to avoid accountability.

I believe in due process. I believe in the rule of law. But I also believe that the story needs to be told about how this epidemic started. For those reasons, Vermont rejected the settlement offer and will continue to fight on behalf of Vermonters.

Last modified: September 12, 2019