(UnitedVoice.com) – The opioid crisis has absolutely ravaged the United States. Tens of thousands of people have died, and the epidemic has reached every corner of the country. One of the families at the center of the crisis just received a slap on the wrist.
For nearly four years, the Sackler family has been seeking immunity from all civil suits related to the opioid crisis. The family owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin. In 2019, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
On Tuesday, May 31, as part of the bankruptcy restructuring plan, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a blanket immunity ruling for the Sacklers. The family had long argued the immunity shield their company received during the Chapter 11 proceedings should extend to them. They argued that if it wasn’t, there was no reason they should agree to pay up to $6 billion to the plaintiffs in a series of suspended lawsuits.
Individuals who have already sued the company will receive payouts from an established fund worth between $700 million and $750 million. The payouts will likely range from roughly $3,500 to $48,000 each. The guardians of thousands of kids who have a history of neonatal abstinence syndrome will receive approximately $7,000 each.
The New York Times reported that the Sacklers won’t own the company after the bankruptcy is over. Purdue Parma will no longer exist after the proceedings. The company’s assets will transfer to a new company called Knoa. It will continue to produce OxyContin and its other drugs, but the profits will be used to pay for the settlements. The company will also make opioid reversal meds and opioid addiction treatments.
The Sacklers have not been on the board of their family business since 2018. That doesn’t mean they are going to go broke. Currently, they’re worth approximately $11 billion.
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