Impact of Purdue Pharma Settlement in West Virginia

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says he has agreed with the proposed settlement but can pull West Virginia’s support if the final settlement offer is not satisfactory. The risk in not agreeing is that Purdue, which makes Oxycontin, would file for bankruptcy, and hundreds of cities, counties, and states who filed the suit would get nothing.

“But the price of not participating in the bankruptcy process now would have cost our office a place to influence any final settlement,” said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, (R) West Virginia.

Settlement estimates vary wildly from 3 to 100 billion dollars, and the money could be put to many uses. Attorney Rusty Webb represents dozens of West Virginia cities and counties, including Charleston and Huntington.

“Some want to pay back their overtime for their police and first responders for dealing with the opioid epidemic. Some want to reimburse themselves for excessive fees that they’ve had to incur at the regional jails,” said Rusty Webb, attorney for Charleston and Huntington.

Others want millions more for drug treatment.

“We have to see a wide variety of recovery options for people, and we have to see these option in the community so people can access to them very quickly when they are able,” said Del. Andrew Robinson, (D) Kanawha.

One lawyer predicts other opioid makers will settle if Purdue does.

Because this is just a proposed settlement, cities and counties hit hard by the opioid crisis who’ve yet to file lawsuits, still have time to do so. But an attorney in the case says that time is running out, with maybe only two or three weeks left to file.

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