The Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, have not been charged with any criminal offenses related to the opioid crisis.
In 2021, a judge ruled that the Sacklers would have to pay $4.5 billion as part of a settlement with several US states. However, the judge also upheld a “legal shield” that would protect the Sacklers from criminal prosecution.
The Sacklers have remained adamant that they had no part to play in the opioid epidemic. They have not admitted to any wrongdoing, and Purdue Pharma did plead guilty to criminal charges related to misleading marketing.
In March 2022, the Sacklers were ordered to pay an additional $6 billion as part of a settlement involving the District of Columbia and eight additional states.
This money is said to be going to the victims of the opioid crisis, including hospitals, victims of addiction, and the states most affected.
Earlier this year, the Sackler family gave up ownership of Purdue after an appeals court endorsed the March 2022 settlement.
As part of the new settlement, the Sacklers have also won immunity from future opioid-related lawsuits in exchange for the $6 billion payout.
The Sacklers’ lack of criminal charges has been met with criticism from many who believe they should be held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. However, the Sacklers have argued that they are innocent and that the settlements are fair.
It remains to be seen whether the Sacklers will ever face criminal charges. However, it is clear that they have not been held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis in the same way that other individuals and companies have been.