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U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance of Louisiana warned lawyers for states and local governments that they’d face “serious’’ legal hurdles that could derail their bid for a multibillion-dollar payout. (Photo: Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) – Purdue Pharma LP acknowledged in a letter that the maker of the opioid painkiller Oxycontin is in “negotiations’’ with state attorneys general over lawsuits accusing the company of creating a public-health crisis with its mishandling of the drug.

Maria Barton, Purdue’s general counsel, chastised Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for pulling out of a multistate probe of the drugmaker by 41 of his fellow attorneys general. He did so shortly after signing an agreement to preserve his state’s legal claims “while the investigation and negotiations were conducted,’’ according to a copy of the Nov. 28 letter provided by Purdue officials.

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