Purdue Pharma judge extends Sacklers’ U.S. litigation shield to Feb 17
February 1, 2022; 12:12 PM EST (Updated 1:05 PM EST)
On Monday, the mediator reported that the Sacklers were nearing an agreement to boost their more than $4.3 billion cash contribution to resolve the litigation after negotiating with states that objected to the original terms.
Judge Drain said on Tuesday that “all bets were open” as to whether the Sacklers would continue to receive legal protection from opioid lawsuits if the current round of mediation does not result in a new deal.
If the Sacklers’ legal protection were allowed to expire, the family and Purdue would be swept up in a “a firestorm of uncoordinated litigation” that would destroy any value the company has left, Purdue attorney Marshall Huebner told the judge on Tuesday.
Legal protections for the Sacklers have been a point of controversy throughout Purdue’s bankruptcy.
The current round of mediation began in January, after a U.S. district judge ruled that Purdue’s bankruptcy reorganization plan improperly shielded Sackler family members, who had not filed for Chapter 11 themselves, from opioid litigation.
Attorney Joe Rice, who represents plaintiffs who have sued Purdue and the Sackler family, said in court on Tuesday that the legal protections should be allowed to expire.
Allowing lawsuits to proceed could break a holding pattern that “only benefits the Sackler family,” Rice said.
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