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Business Insurance reports that OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from thousands of lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said Monday.

Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the pharmaceutical company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the drugs.

Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow the drugmaker to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

More than 1,000 lawsuits accusing Purdue and other opioid manufacturers of using deceptive practices to push addictive drugs that led to fatal overdoses are consolidated in an Ohio federal court.

A lesser-known opioid case: Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma, is scheduled for trial in May in Norman, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma trial could presage many of the arguments the jury may be presented in the national case set in the fall on 2019.

The Oklahoma lawsuit seeks to hold Purdue and three other opioid-makers, Allergan, Cephalon and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, responsible for economic damages to the state and its residents stemming from the opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

The presiding judge in the Oklahoma case ruled that television cameras may be used in the courtroom, every detail of what promises to be a dramatic trial could be broadcast to the American public, potentially affecting the outcome of any future opioid trials.

A Purdue bankruptcy filing is not certain, the sources said. The Stamford, Connecticut, drugmaker has not made any final decisions and could instead continue fighting the lawsuits, they said.

Purdue tapped law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice, Reuters reported in August, fueling concerns among litigants including Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter that the company might seek bankruptcy protection before the trial.