The Sackler family that owns bankrupt OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has been granted immunity from lawsuits seeking damages from the firm and its owners over the opioid crisis.
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday ruled the Sacklers can be shielded personally from the lawsuits in exchange for paying $6 billion toward the company's broader bankruptcy settlement.
Thousands of lawsuits from states, local governments and individuals have been filed against Purdue and its owners for OxyContin's contribution to the nation's opioid crisis, which the company aims to resolve through the bankruptcy.
The company has pleaded guilty to charges related to its opioid marketing, while the Sacklers have expressed regret but denied doing anything illegal.
The families of the late Mortimer Sackler and the late Raymond Sackler said in a joint statement that they looked forward to moving ahead after the lengthy wait for a 2nd Circuit decision.
"The Sackler families believe the long-awaited implementation of this resolution is critical to providing substantial resources for people and communities in need," the families said.
The Sackler contribution accounts for most of the cash payment in a broader bankruptcy settlement that Purdue values at more than $10 billion.
"Our focus going forward is to deliver billions of dollars of value for victim compensation, opioid crisis abatement, and overdose rescue medicines," Purdue said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.