The Latest on the Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy case (all times local):
A judge has agreed to pause lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and the OxyContin maker’s owners until next month with the intention of stopping suits longer so a settlement can be worked out to nearly 2,600 suits against the company.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain gave the company, state attorneys general and lawyers for local government until Nov. 6 to work out the details of a six-month pause on the litigation.
The groups are supposed to work out how to share detailed financial information and other wrinkles that could allow them to work toward a bigger settlement.
Drain strongly brushed aside the argument from a group of state attorneys general that lawsuits against members of the wealthy Sackler family would be essential to getting accountability in the case.
A judge has said he will halt lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and its owners for six months in hopes of finalizing a settlement over the OxyContin maker’s role in the national opioid crisis.
In a hearing Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain strongly brushed aside the argument from a group of state attorneys general that lawsuits against members of the wealthy Sackler family would be essential to getting accountability in the case.
His decision does not mean that a tentative settlement struck between the company and about half the states would become a final agreement.
Drain says he is looking for input from states on the terms of pressing pause on the lawsuits.
Purdue Pharma has agreed to advance $200 million to battle the opioid crisis within six months in exchange for a pause on litigation against family members who own the company.
The offer gives a judge another element to consider as he decides whether to allow suits to move ahead against members of the Sackler family.
Half of U.S. states and hundreds of local governments are pushing for lawsuits to continue.
But the OxyContin maker says a proposed settlement of some 2,600 lawsuits against the company could be endangered if the suits continue because family members might not be willing or able to contribute at least $3 billion called for in the deal.
The deal was announced at a hearing in bankruptcy court Friday.
How much members of the Sackler family should be held accountable for the role their company, Purdue Pharma, played in the nation’s opioid crisis will be at the center of a hearing in federal bankruptcy court.
State attorneys general who are pressing separate state claims against the Sacklers want their cases to continue even as Purdue’s bankruptcy case plays out. They will make that argument on Friday before a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York.
Purdue, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, argues that allowing the separate Sackler lawsuits to go ahead will imperil its proposed nationwide settlement, which could be worth as much as $12 billion over time.
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