A US judge on Thursday annulled OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy agreement, which would have protected its owners, the Sackler family, from future lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.
District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Colleen McMahon, ruled that the bankruptcy court that made that decision in September had no authority to relieve the Sackler family of their responsibilities, according to several US media outlets.
In 2019, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Purdue and four other distributors that led to a settlement in the Bankruptcy Court last September whereby the pharmaceutical company was dissolved and emerged as a company controlled by the authorities.
The settlement also required the Sacklers to hand over $ 4.5 billion over a nine-year period to help mitigate the opioid crisis and exempt them from future liability lawsuits.
In addition to protecting the Sackler family from future opioid-related lawsuits, the terms of the pact would have allowed them to keep much of the money they made from Purdue, without requiring them to admit to any wrongdoing.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who helped settle the bankruptcy settlement, said that Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family “remain the defendants in the ongoing litigation and will be held responsible for their illegal behavior. , one way or another”.
According to court documents, between 2008 and 2010, the business owners took 70% of Purdue’s revenue each year, and between 2011 and 2016 between 40 and 55%. From 2008 to 2018, the amount drawn was more than $ 10.7 billion.
According to authorities, between 1999 and 2019 nearly half a million people died in the United States from opioid overdoses.
In 2020, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses, an increase of 30% over the previous year, which had already been a record.
Of those deaths, 69,710 were attributed to opioid overdoses. Efe News