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Supreme Court Heard Arguments to Challenge OxyContin Settlement

headache-1540220_640-e1702313969782The Supreme Court heard arguments related to a challenge to the bankruptcy deal that’s intended to compensate victims of highly addictive pain killer OxyContin. Based on the questions judges asked, court watchers believe the Court is split. The manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, entered into a deal to pay billions to people harmed by the opioids they made and sold. That deal protected members of the Sackler family from personal liability. If you were injured by Oxycontin or another highly addictive pain killer, you should call the seasoned Chicago-based dangerous drug lawyers of Moll Law Group. Billions have been recovered in product liability lawsuits with which we’ve been involved.

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The case that the Court is hearing arose from complex circumstances. The Sackler family took assets from the manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharm and shifted those assets overseas, which then triggered the problem that the company no longer has enough money to pay its creditors, such as those injured by pain killer. Purdue Pharma pled guilty to three criminal charges by 2020. It agreed that it owed $8 billion in criminal and civil fines to state and local governments trying to address the opioid crisis.

Based on this, the company reached a deal in bankruptcy court that would reimburse victims of the epidemic along with the harmed by an amount less than it might have paid, had it not shifted its assets overseas.

By the terms of the deal, the Sacklers were released from personal liability for the harm that their product had done, even though six of the family members sat on the company’s board and the chairman Richard Sackler had carefully managed a strategy to establish that aggressive and deceptive marketing strategies were not causing addiction. The Sacklers paid $4 billion under the original deal, and later increased to $6 billion when the eight states and District of Columbia involved in the proceedings took issue with the original amount. 95% of the governments and individuals involved voted to approve the settlement.

However, the United States Trustee who oversees the bankruptcy cases in Vermont, Connecticut and New York objected to this deal. The Biden administration believed that the bankruptcy law won’t permit bankruptcy courts to approve the Sacklers being released from liability for third party lawsuits.

One law professor claims that the $6 billion paid over 8 years not only releases their liability but also ensures they wouldn’t be required to testify about their misconduct in future litigation; with such a deal they would still be left with half of their assets and money.

The liability release covers more than the Sacklers and also includes other acolytes from lawyers to consultants, doctors and even a former senator who lobbied for Purdue in his post-Senate years.

Some critics of the deal have pointed out that bankruptcy is intended to give relief to honest debtors who encounter misfortune. Others have said it’s not the perfect deal, but it’s good enough, pointing to the money that would need to be expended to reach the Sacklers’ overseas assets.

Call Our Experienced Dangerous Drug Attorneys

Unfortunately, many drugs are addictive and contain inadequate warnings. The opioid crisis continues in America. If you or a loved one was injured due to painkillers like Oxycontin, you should call the trustworthy Chicago product liability lawyers of Moll Law Group. We represent injured people around the country. Please complete our online form or call us at 312.462.1700.







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