Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
OxyContin maker files for bankruptcy as part of proposed settlement agreement
stevepb / Pixabay
OxyContin maker files for bankruptcy as part of proposed settlement agreement

Purdue Pharma, producer of OxyContin, announced on Sunday that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move designed in part to resolve more than 2,600 lawsuits filed against the company for its alleged role in the opioid crisis.

The reorganization of the company through bankruptcy was the first step in the proposed agreement as Purdue attempts to settle the opioid litigation facing the company. Currently, 24 state attorneys general and five US territories have accepted the agreement in principle.

The settlement structure is estimated to provide more than $10 billion of value to address the opioid crisis. The details of the settlement include the Sackler family, owners of Purdue, forfeiting ownership of the company and paying $3 billion cash to the plaintiffs over seven years. After reorganization, the new company would be governed by a new board selected by claimants and approved by the bankruptcy court. The new company may “potentially” contribute tens of millions of doses of opioid overdose reversal and addiction treatment medications at no or low cost and will be bound by marketing restrictions on the sale of opioids.

Steve Miller, Chairman of Purdue’s Board of Directors, said that this “unique framework” for resolution will dedicate all of the assets and resources of Purdue “for the benefit of the American public.”

This settlement framework avoids wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years on protracted litigation, and instead will provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis.

Purdue will continue to work with state attorneys general and other plaintiff representatives to finalize and implement this agreement as quickly as possible.