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Supreme Court Rules On Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement


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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a settlement that would shield the Sackler family from future lawsuits regarding misleading the public on the addictive nature of it opioids it produced.

The ruling by the Supreme Court will also negate billions of dollars that were expected to go to treatment centers and victims of the opioid epidemic.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against the settlement, and Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion.

In the opinion, Gorsuch wrote, “The Sacklers seek greater relief than a bankruptcy discharge normally affords, for they hope to extinguish even claims for wrongful death and fraud, and they seek to do so without putting anything close to all their assets on the table.”

Gorsuch added, “Describe the relief the Sacklers seek how you will; nothing in the bankruptcy code contemplates (much less authorizes) it.”

Check out what CNN reported:

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a controversial settlement that would have sent billions of dollars to treatment programs and victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic but also shielded the Sackler family from future lawsuits despite the fact that it made its fortune selling prescription opioids.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for a 5-4 majority.

“The Sacklers seek greater relief than a bankruptcy discharge normally affords, for they hope to extinguish even claims for wrongful death and fraud, and they seek to do so without putting anything close to all their assets on the table,” Gorsuch wrote. “Describe the relief the Sacklers seek how you will, nothing in the bankruptcy code contemplates (much less authorizes) it.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a fellow conservative, said in dissent that the court’s decision will have a “devastating” impact on thousands of victims of the opioid epidemic.

“As a result, opioid victims are now deprived of the substantial monetary recovery that they long fought for and finally secured after years of litigation,” he wrote in the dissent, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Per NPR:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday invalidated a controversial bankruptcy deal involving Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin, and members of the Sackler family who owned the scandal-plagued drug firm.

By a vote of 5-4, the justices threw out the bankruptcy settlement, which has been valued at between $6 billion and $10 billion.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said U.S. bankruptcy law doesn’t afford bankruptcy courts the kind of power needed to block lawsuits against parties who haven’t filed for bankruptcy. “The bankruptcy code does not authorize a release and injunction that, as part of a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11, effectively seek to discharge claims against a non-debtor without the consent of affected claimants,” he wrote.



 

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