OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP has reached a tentative agreement with some plaintiffs to resolve litigation over its alleged role in fuelling the US opioid crisis.
But it plans to tussle with states opposing the settlement offer in bankruptcy proceedings as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.
Lead lawyers representing more than 2,000 cities, counties and other plaintiffs suing Purdue, along with 23 states and three US territories, were on board with an offer from the company and its controlling Sackler family to settle lawsuits in a deal valued at up to $US12 billion ($A17 billion), the sources said on Wednesday, .
More than a dozen other states remain opposed or uncommitted to the deal, setting the stage for a legal battle over Purdue's efforts to contain the litigation in bankruptcy court, they said.
States updated a federal judge on the settlement offer's support, which could evolve as the day progresses, while Purdue's board is scheduled to be briefed on settlement progress on Thursday.
There remained a chance negotiations could fall apart and the company's plans, including timing of a bankruptcy filing, could change.
Reuters earlier on Wednesday reported that Purdue was nearing a settlement with cities and many states.
The Sacklers, well-known wealthy philanthropists, have declined to revise their proposed settlement contribution of $US3 billion ($A4.4 billion) over seven years and another $US1.5 billion ($A2.2 billion) or more through eventual sale of another business they own.
New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, where privately-held Purdue is based, are among states opposed to the current offer and have pushed the family to guarantee $US4.5 billion ($A6.6 billion).
The lawsuits, some of which target the Sacklers as well as Purdue, claim the family and company contributed to a public health crisis that has claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest US data.
The suits allege Purdue aggressively marketed prescription painkillers while misleading doctors and patients about their addiction and overdose risks.
Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations.
Australian Associated Press