Judge Rejects Opioid Settlement Regarding Legal Protections For Sackler Family | Opioid crisis
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A judge has dismissed OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy settlement of thousands of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic over a provision that would protect members of the Sackler family from litigation of their own.
Judge Colleen McMahon’s decision in New York City on Thursday will likely be appealed by the company, family members and thousands of government entities that support the plan.
Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019 as it faced thousands of lawsuits claiming the company pushed doctors to prescribe OxyContin, helping to trigger an opioid crisis linked to more of 500,000 deaths in the United States over the past two decades.
Through the bankruptcy court, he reached an agreement with his creditors. Members of the Sackler family would relinquish ownership of the company, which would transform into another type of entity that would still sell opioids – but whose profits would be used to fight the crisis. He would also develop new anti-addiction and anti-overdose drugs and provide them at little or no cost.
Members of the Sackler family are also reportedly contributing $ 4.5 billion in cash and charitable assets as part of a global deal that could be worth $ 10 billion, including the value of the new drugs, if they are put on. the market.
The agreement also provides for millions of company documents, including communications with attorneys, to be made public.
In turn, affluent family members would be protected from lawsuits for their role in the opioid crisis – both the 860 already filed and those to come.
Most state and local governments, indigenous tribes, individual opioid victims and others who have voted have said the bankruptcy court’s plan should be accepted.
But the U.S. bankruptcy trustee’s office, eight state attorneys general and other entities opposed the deal. They argue that he is failing to hold members of the Sackler family properly accountable and that he is usurping the ability of states to try to do so.
A bankruptcy court judge approved the plan over objections in September. But opponents appealed to McMahon court.
The Purdue deal would not protect family members from criminal charges. But so far, no file has been filed.
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