OxyContin maker government attorneys in settlement talks

COLUMBUS, Ohio — State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis.Purdue has been cast by attorneys and addiction experts as a main villain in the crisis for producing a blockbuster drug while understating its addiction risk. A report by NBC News said the privately held company has offered to settle for $10 billion to $12 billion.In a statement, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said it’s prepared to defend itself but sees little good in years of “wasteful litigation and appeals.”“Purdue believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome,” the company said.News of the settlement talks involving more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company and other players in the painkiller industry comes about two months before the first federal trial over the toll of opioids is scheduled to start in Cleveland.NBC reported that Purdue presented a plan for it to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then restructure into a for-profit “public benefit trust.”Paul Farrell Jr., a lead plaintiffs’ lawyer representing local governments, said all sides remain under a gag order: “All we can confirm is that we are in active settlement discussions with Purdue.”Attorneys general representing several states also confirmed the accelerated negotiations.Ohio Attorney General David Yost is “actively engaged in conversations with Purdue,” said spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle, declining further comment.Kylie Mason, spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, declined comment on details of any possible settlement but said the state will “continue to aggressively pursue justice — to ensure those companies complicit in the opioid crisis pay for the pain and suffering inflicted on our state.”Purdue Pharma is owned by members of the Sackler family, who have given money to cultural institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Tate Modern. The New York Times reported late Tuesday the payout would include $3 billion from the Sackler family. In addition, the Sacklers would sell another drug company, Mundipharma, which would add $1.5 billion to the settlement.In March, Purdue and members of the Sackler family reached a $270 million settlement with Oklahoma to avoid a state trial on the toll of opioids there.Lawsuits filed by more than 2,000 state, local and tribal governments have cast Purdue as a chief villain in an overdose crisis that has killed more than 400,000 people in the U.S. since 2000.The lawsuits assert the company aggressively sold OxyContin as a drug with a low chance of triggering addictions despite knowing that wasn’t true.Purdue’s drugs are just a slice of the opioids prescribed, but critics assign a lot of the blame to the company because it developed both the drug and an aggressive marketing strategy.“Our mission here has always been clear — make Purdue Pharma and the other manufacturers and distributors pay for what they did to Pennsylvania and its people, and put the Sackler family out of the opioid business for good,” said Jacklin Rhoads, spokeswoman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who has staffers at the Cleveland negotiations.___Associated Press writers Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.Andrew Welsh-Huggins, The Associated Press read more

Hexagon acquires North West Geomatics – aerial mapping and LiDAR

first_imgNorth West Geomatics has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hexagon, a leading global provider of design, measurement and visualisation technologies. North West provides high-quality aerial mapping and related spatial data services to engineering and mapping firms, environmental consulting organisations and government agencies. In addition to housing the single largest library of high-resolution imagery and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data in Canada, North West has been a pioneer in developing various techniques to maximise efficiency and productivity in photo acquisition and subsequent photogrammetric tasks. Valtus – North West’s content database – enables the seamless integration of any customer’s privately owned content through a hosting service. By dedicating a significant portion of resources to continuing research and development, “North West remains at the forefront in the aerial photography industry,” Hexagon states.“North West brings valuable expertise in selling data content as a service (CaaS) through its Valtus database, which enables crowdsourcing of data content. Together with advances in sensor capabilities and the acquisitions of AHAB, Aibotix, Geosoft and Tridicon, North West will be an instrumental part in Hexagon’s ambitions within this field”, said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén.North West Geomatics’ turnover for 2013 amounted to some EUR10 million.last_img read more