HealthDay News — Purdue Pharma has filed a bankruptcy restructuring plan that seeks to end thousands of lawsuits over the role that its painkiller Oxycontin played in the U.S. opioid epidemic.
The plan requires members of the Sackler family to relinquish control of the company and remakes it into a new corporation with revenue targeted exclusively at reducing the nation’s opioid crisis, The New York Times reported. There is also a pledge from the Sacklers to give $4.275 billion from their personal fortune — $1.3 billion more than their original offer — to states, municipalities, tribes, and other plaintiffs for costs associated with the opioid epidemic.
Payments could start being made to different groups of lawsuit plaintiffs if the plan is approved by a majority of the company’s creditors and Judge Robert Drain of federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, The Times reported. The largest of those groups includes state and local governments that have faced devastating costs due to the opioid epidemic. Others include individual plaintiffs such as families whose relatives overdosed or guardians of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome; hospitals and insurers; and tribes.
However, it is not clear if the plan will be accepted because dozens of states and the District of Columbia have said the bankruptcy process would prevent them from direct legal action against individual members of the Sackler family whose contributions are insufficient, The Times reported.