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Don’t let fear stop suit against Purdue

Multiple states and local governments have filed lawsuits against health care giant Purdue Pharma over its distribution of opioid pain pills that helped fuel the devastating substance abuse crisis. More than 2,000 separate actions, consolidated into one case under a federal judge, are involved.

Last week, it was announced that Purdue Pharma had reached a tentative deal with about half the states and thousands of local governments. But a few days ago, it was reported negotiations between Purdue and a coalition of attorneys general broke down. One issue was the Sackler family’s personal responsibility.

It is also being reported Purdue officials are considering a bankruptcy filing. That would muddy the waters even more.

Purdue and the Sacklers may be trying to divide and conquer. That is, they may hope some attorneys general will accept relatively small settlements, out of fear of getting nothing if a bankruptcy proceeding begins.

If the Sacklers and others at Purdue are guilty of knowingly contributing to the opioid crisis, they should be made to pay as dearly as possible for their greed.