Members of the billionaire Sackler family will be protected from current and future lawsuits over their role in their Purdue Pharma’s opioid business, a New York court of appeals ruled Tuesday.

The ruling clears the way for a bankruptcy deal for Purdue Pharma, which is owned by the family. In exchange for immunity, the Sacklers will personally pay out billions of dollars to help fight the ongoing opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma declared bankruptcy in 2019.

The settlement between the Sacklers and eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, was

Pharma first introduced the opioid drug OxyContin in the 1990s and promoted it as non-addictive. The company has been accused of helping to fuel the opioid epidemic in the United States, which is seen as a massive public health crisis. Between 1999 and 2020, more than 564,000 people died from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.