Purdue Pharma Facing Bankruptcy while Trying to Settle Personal Injury Cases with States
On September 17, 2019, Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This comes after nearly twenty years of lawsuits filed by individuals, counties and states over Purdue’s marketing and distribution of opioids, such as OxyContin.
As the institution blamed for much of the nation’s opioid epidemic, filing for bankruptcy does not mean Purdue’s troubles are over. Purdue hopes to settle the 2,000 personal injury cases it faces from state, local and tribal governments. If accepted, Purdue's proposed $10 billion settlement would see the Sackler family divest itself of ownership in the company. The Sackler family would hand the company to a trust set up in favor of the states and other government entities that sued to recoup monies they spent on opioid addiction in their jurisdictions.
In addition, the Sacklers will personally pay $3 billion to settle the voluminous federal and state personal injury cases filed against the pharmaceutical firm. About half the states with claims against Purdue have refused to accept the proposed settlement so far.
Two dozen states and the District of Columbia have joined calls for a New York federal court to push back the cutoff date for filing claims in the bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma LP, citing the obstacles created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The states urged the court in their Tuesday filing to move the claims deadline from June 30 to Sept. 30, pointing to numerous other official deadlines that have been extended due to the global virus outbreak.