In her decision, Colleen McMahon believes that the bankruptcy judge who ratified the agreement in September did not have the authority to prevent possible civil lawsuits against family members. Purdue immediately announced, in a statement, its intention to appeal this decision.
The plan had received the support of an overwhelming majority of the company’s creditors as well as more than 40 US states.
But several parties had decided to appeal, including a representative from the Department of Justice and nine states. The deal, they argued, did not allow the victims to be heard and possibly file a complaint against the Sacklers.
US Secretary of Justice Merrick Garland welcomed the ruling on Thursday, saying in a statement that the bankruptcy court
had no right to deprive victims of the opioid crisis of the right to sue the Sackler family.
It’s a huge victory for justice and accountability, which will reopen Purdue’s deeply tainted bankruptcy and force the Sackler family to face the pain and devastation it has caused., also reacted the attorney of the State of Connecticut, William Tong, who had appealed.
Purdue will do anything to make a profit
The aggressive promotion of the painkiller OxyContin by Purdue, pushed by the Sackler family who knew it to be very addictive, is considered by many to be the trigger of the opioid crisis, which has caused more than 500,000 overdose deaths in 20 years. in the USA.
Purdue, the Sacklers and OxyContin have become the symbols of the excesses of a pharmaceutical industry desperate to make profits.
The Purdue laboratory declared bankruptcy in September 2019, proposing a bankruptcy plan to settle the avalanche of litigation against it and agreeing to plead guilty.
In her decision, Justice McMahon acknowledges that the invalidation of the immunity granted to the Sacklers
will almost certainly lead to the cancellation of a carefully crafted plan which contains positive elements, such as funding for programs to combat opioid dependence.
Purdue Chairman of the Board, Steve Miller, in fact noted that this decision
will delay, and possibly end, the ability of creditors, communities and individuals to receive billions of dollars to alleviate the opioid crisis.
since the bankruptcy code does not confer such authority, the decision confirming the plan must be abandoned, underlined the judge.
The plan called for the company itself to close its doors by 2024 in favor of a new entity managed by a trust. In addition to the sale of OxyContin for
legitimate, it was to provide, free or at cost, drugs against overdose and treatment for opioid dependence.
Members of the Sackler family had pledged US $ 4.32 billion in addition to the US $ 225 million already paid to the Justice Department.