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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, which faced thousands of lawsuits over the U.S. opioid epidemic, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the drug company said in a statement Sunday

The big picture: Per the Wall Street Journal, Purdue filed for bankruptcy with a more than $10 billion plan to settle claims in White Plains, New York — less than a week after reaching a tentative settlement with states and local governments suing the firm for its role in the opioid epidemic.

  • The Justice Department had launched civil and criminal investigations into whether Purdue failed to properly monitor illegal prescribing and ordering patterns for OxyContin.
  • Purdue's board of directors voted Sunday evening to approve a settlement in principle, the New York Times reports.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Bob Herman: Purdue was expected to file for bankruptcy regardless of a national settlement, and it ultimately could protect the Sackler family’s wealth against all governments and creditors.

What they're saying: Steve Miller, chairman of Purdue’s board of directors, said in a statement on the company's website, "This unique framework for a comprehensive resolution will dedicate all of the assets and resources of Purdue for the benefit of the American public."

"This settlement framework avoids wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years on protracted litigation, and instead will provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis."

What's next: The bankruptcy "filing is expected to lead to the ultimate demise of a company that sold a fraction of the opioid prescriptions" but is "most closely identified with the epidemic because of its pioneering role in the sale of narcotic pain pills," notes the Washington Post, which first reported the news.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

51 mins ago - World

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

4 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.