The controversial decision by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge faced objections from nine states and a branch of the DOJ and will most likely be appealed.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert D. Drain has approved a bankruptcy plan that will grant the drugmaker’s billionaire owners sweeping legal immunity in the opioid epidemic, reports the Washington Post. The final terms of the settlement grant the family that owned Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, broad protection from current and future litigation. The family initially sought relief from any civil litigation, but Drain objected, arguing that the family should be immune only to legal claims related to the crisis they are contributing roughly $4.3 billion to abate and deciding that the final settlement will grant relief specifically for claims related to the opioid epidemic.
In addition, two branches of the Sackler family would relinquish ownership of Purdue Pharma, which values the agreement at more than $10 billion. Nine states and a branch of the Justice Department objected to the terms of the settlement, arguing that the Sacklers encouraged the marketing and sale of OxyContin by downplaying the addictive potential, a playbook adopted by other drug companies as communities became inundated with billions of pills. Drain disputed those objections, saying the settlement offered the quickest and least costly way for victims and communities to receive funds. He also argued that the negotiations provided an unprecedented look at the Sacklers’ estimated $11 billion in assets. Once effective, the bankruptcy plan will set aside funds for cities, counties and other entities. Individuals most affected by the opioids would be entitled to payments ranging from $3,500 to $48,000. The plan is likely to face appeal.
Source: The Crime Report https://thecrimereport.org/2021/09/02/purdue-pharma-wins-immunity-through-bankruptcy-plan/