Federal Ruling Lays a Path for Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlements

June 5, 2023

On May 30, 2023, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York approved a plan through which Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, may settle thousands of claims linked to the opioid epidemic.

Under the plan, the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, would give up ownership of the company, and would contribute $11.5 billion in cash, over time, to go to a fund to prevent and treat addiction. Of these funds, $750 million would go to individual victims of the opioid crisis and their survivors. As reported in the May 31st publication of The Star Ledger, individual payments are expected to range from about $3,500 to $48,000.

Purdue Pharma would become a new company called Knoa, and its profits - more than $11 billion - would be sent to the same fund as the Sackler family's.

The plan would also protect members of the Sackler family themselves from future lawsuits over their role in the opioid crisis.

As reported on abcnews.com, all states have signed on to support the plan. The Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, an arm of the Justice Department, an entity which has objected to the plan, has not yet commented on whether they intend to accept the ruling, appeal it to the Supreme Court, or ask the Circuit Court to review its decision. Even if no appeal takes place, the plan could take months to go into effect.

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