The Sackler Family Gets Court Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits

The Sackler Family Can Protect Themselves From Opioid Lawsuits if They Pay Out $6 B. To Fight the Ongoing Opioid Crisis, Court Ruled.

Jun 1, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Sackler Family
A space formerly known as the Sackler Courtyard at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


The Sackler family deals with he production of medicines and is the owner of Purdue Pharma. In order to promote their name, the family donated to many cultural institutions, This includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and The Guggenheim. But, since 2019, the company has faced criticism from the public, which also affected these cultural institutions and their name.


The Sackler Family Immunity Does Not Include National Resolution

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1974–79, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation. Photo: Donald Woodman


Recent information shows the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted immunity to the Sackler family, if they meet the conditions. The family needs to pay $6. B. to fight against an ongoing opioid crisis and to give up control of their company, Purdue Pharma. Even though the family asked for civil immunity, the court made a huge step towards releasing their fortune towards communities to help cope with addiction costs.


Purdue Pharma faced thousands of lawsuits for producing drugs like OxyContin in 2019, and therefore had to file for bankruptcy. The first agreement happened in 2021 – it referred to the relinquishment of the company’s authority and the payment of 4.5 billion. But, it eventually fell through because eight US states objected to the deal. These events led to the 2023 court ruling.


Sackler PAIN protesting the Louvre in Paris. Photo courtesy of Sackler PAIN.


The current agreement, nevertheless, only covers the New York, Connecticut, and Vermont portions of the 2nd Circuit. A national resolve is still lacking. The latest deal calls for Purdue Pharma to change its name to Knoa Pharma. The new company will continue with the production of drugs for treatment and will be supervised by a public council.

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Cultural Institutions Remove the Sackler Name

Photo courtesy of Sackler PAIN


Many cultural institutions bore the name of the Sacklar family due to large donations. When they saw the family’s involvement in increasing addiction, many decided to cut ties with this family. In March 2019, the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate galleries announced that they would not accept further donations from the family. This came after the American photographer Nan Goldin threatened to withdraw a planned retrospective of her work in the National Portrait Gallery.


That is if the gallery accepted a £1 million donation from a Sackler fund. Later in 2019, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, each announced they will not accept future donations from any Sacklers that were involved in Purdue Pharma. The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it would remove the Sackler name from galleries and other locations within the museum in December 2021.


Protestors staging a “die-in” at Harvard’s Arthur M. Sackler Museum. Photo: Ben Roberts. Courtesy of PAIN.


On July 1, 2019, Nan Goldin, an American photographer and the founder of P.A.I.N., [50] led a small group of protesters who unfurled a banner “Take down the Sackler name” against the backdrop of the Louvre’s glass pyramid. the Louvre in Paris was the first major museum to “erase its public association” with the Sackler family name.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.