Judge rejects opioid agreement on legal protection for the Sackler family | Opioid crisis

A judge has rejected the bankruptcy settlement of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over thousands of opioid epidemic lawsuits on the basis of a provision that would protect members of the Sackler family from litigation of their own.

Judge Colleen McMahon’s New York judgment Thursday is likely to be challenged by the company, family members and the thousands of government agencies supporting the plan.

Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019 when it faced thousands of lawsuits alleging the company urged doctors to prescribe OxyContin, which helped spark an opioid crisis that has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths in the past two decades has been linked to the United States.

She worked out a deal with her creditors through the bankruptcy court. Members of the Sackler family would give up ownership of the company, which would transform into a different type of company that would continue to sell opioids – but with profits to fight the crisis. It would also develop new drugs for addiction and overdose and offer them at little or no cost.

Sackler’s family members would also receive $ 4.5 billion.

The deal also involves the release of millions of corporate documents, including communications with lawyers.

In turn, members of the wealthy family would be protected from legal proceedings for their role in the opioid crisis – both the already filed and the future 860.

Most state and local governments, indigenous tribes, individual opioid victims and others who voted said the plan worked out in the bankruptcy court should be accepted.

But the US bankruptcy trustee’s office, eight attorneys general, and a few other agencies have opposed the deal. They argue that they are failing to hold members of the Sackler family adequately accountable and are usurping the ability of states to try to do so.

The bankruptcy judge approved a settlement from Purdue Pharma in September that cost about $ 4.5 billion.

Some wanted these family members to be protected from further civil liability, and also hoped that some Sacklers would end up in jail.

Opponents appealed to the McMahon Court.

The Purdue deal would not protect family members from criminal charges. But none have been submitted so far.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “We are pleased with the district court’s decision to overturn Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan. The bankruptcy court was not empowered to deny victims of the opioid crisis the right to sue the Sackler family. “

At the height of the lawsuit against the owners of Purdue Pharma in 2019, members of the Sackler family were sued by several American cities, counties and states that caused much of the opioid epidemic in the US “- via a” deadly, fraudulent … illegal Plan “to flood the US with Purdue’s OxyContin.

Earlier this month, the famous Metropolitan Museum in New York announced that it would no longer display the Sackler name in its galleries after previously joining a number of other art and educational institutions to refrain from donations from the billionaire members of the Sackler family who own Purdue and its charitable trusts.


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