Attorney General Eby’s statement on Purdue Pharma

Attorney General David Eby

DAVID Eby, Attorney General, on Monday said that B.C. remains ready and willing to participate in the reported effort to achieve global resolution of the claims against Purdue entities and the Sacklers.

But he warned that if B.C. is not included in this process, the Province is determined to continue to pursue its claims against the Purdue entities and against members of the Sackler family to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Eby noted: “British Columbia has been monitoring with considerable interest the various recent developments in the U.S. litigation concerning the manufacture, sale and distribution of opioids. This includes the recently reported ‘tentative agreement’ that would propose to resolve the claims against Purdue entities and Sackler family members. It also includes a statement by Purdue Pharma’s head of corporate affairs and communications that ‘the Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash as part of the global resolution.’

“While B.C. is encouraged by a stated desire to resolve global claims, the opioid crisis is unfortunately not limited to the U.S. It has had, and continues to have, a devastating impact in Canada, with a correspondingly extraordinary toll on our health-care system to the ultimate detriment of Canadian taxpayers.

“To the extent that there is a real desire on the part of Purdue entities and members of the Sackler family to achieve ‘global resolution,’ then any proposed agreement ought to account for and include payment for the Canadian claims, which are presently advanced in a structured and consolidated manner through a national class action lawsuit commenced in B.C.

“However, to date there has been no effort on the part of Purdue entities and the Sacklers to involve Canadian jurisdictions in the discussions that have led to the rumoured settlement in the U.S.”