Call for a Free Phone Consultation


shutterstock_1454880986.jpgLate last month, a federal appeals court heard oral arguments regarding a legal shield for the family who owns Purdue Pharma from lawsuits related to OxyContin, a prescription opioid that has been linked to the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. In March of this year, the billionaire Sacker family reached a tentative deal with a number of states that were resisting Purdue’s bankruptcy plan—a deal that was seen as a major step toward putting a small piece of the family’s fortune toward substance abuse treatment programs across the country.

As part of the deal, the Sacklers would contribute up to $6 billion to assist communities in addressing the damage caused by the opioid crisis. In return for their contribution, the family was hoping to end current and future claims related to Purdue’s prescription opioid products. Now it seems that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hesitant to extend protections to the Sacklers, as they have not filed for personal bankruptcy protection.

Exploring the Limits of Bankruptcy Protection

While oral arguments were being presented, the three-judge panel raised questions about the reach of the bankruptcy court in protecting the non-bankrupt family. Purdue claims that the family needs to be protected from lawsuits in order to secure the funding for settlements related to opioid cases. One of the judges warned attorneys for Purdue by saying, “Please don’t shoot yourself in the foot by saying it is the contributions of the Sacklers that make this plan lawful.”

Back to Top