Sackler family face “substantial risk” of liability over opioid crisis

pharmafile | August 24, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

The judge overseeing Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy said that some members of the Sackler family, owners of OxyContin, face a “substantial risk” of liability over claims the company fueled the opioid epidemic.

US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, said: “I think there is substantial risk that the Sacklers, or some of them, could be liable for huge amounts of money.

“The question is where you draw the line.”

Under the proposed reorganisation deal, which Purdue says is worth more than $10 billion, the Sacklers would contribute about $4.5 billion and receive legal protections against future opioid-related litigation.

An attorney representing the states of Washington and Oregon, which oppose the plan, told Drain on Monday that approving the deal would be a “historic mistake.”

Drain told Assistant US Attorney Lawrence Fogelman that it would be “boneheaded” to reject billions of dollars from the Sacklers just because it is not enough to fund the entire opioid crisis.

The money would go toward various entities and private individuals with opioid claims, as well as state and local opioid abatement programs.

During testimony last week, members of the Sackler family said they would not contribute if they do not receive the releases.

More than 500,000 Americans have died since 1999 from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Purdue Chairman Steve Miller said in a statement after pleading on the company’s behalf: “Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice in the agreed statement of facts.

“Resolving the DOJ investigations is an essential step in our bankruptcy process. The settlement agreement will pave the way for Purdue to submit a plan of reorganisation to the bankruptcy court that will transfer all of Purdue’s assets to a public benefit company, and ultimately deliver more than $10billion in value to claimants and communities.”

Lilly Subbotin

Related Content

No items found

Latest content