Supreme Court Examines $6 Billion Agreement Protecting Sacklers

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Deal

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Deal

By Brandon Drenon

Getty Images

The Controversial Bankruptcy Deal

The US Supreme Court recently heard intense arguments regarding a bankruptcy deal for Purdue Pharma, which could potentially shield the Sackler family from future lawsuits. The family agreed to pay $6 billion in 2022 to address opioid addiction, after admitting to the role played by their company in selling the highly addictive and widely misused drug, OxyContin. In return, the bankruptcy court granted the family immunity in all civil cases.

However, US officials argue that this deal exceeded the court’s authority and contradicted bankruptcy law. The Sackler family, who amassed billions through the creation and distribution of OxyContin, have faced accusations from numerous families for aggressively marketing the drug and downplaying its risks.

Divided Opinions

Many families affected by the opioid crisis want the Supreme Court to overturn the deal, exposing the Sacklers to thousands of lawsuits. Outside the court, protesters held signs denouncing the family as the “deadliest white-collar criminals” and demanding justice for their lost loved ones.

On the other hand, some families impacted by the drug support the deal. Their position is shared by justices who questioned the government’s attempt to overturn the agreement. Even liberal Justice Elena Kagan acknowledged the overwhelming support for the deal among those who have no fondness for the Sacklers. Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh also questioned the appropriateness of overturning a plan that ensures prompt compensation for victims’ families.

Personal Tragedies and Calls for Justice

Dede Yoder, a mother who lost her son to opioid addiction, spent seven years fighting for his life. She struggled to find legal representation against the powerful Sacklers, who seemed untouchable. Eventually, she came to support the bankruptcy deal, which at least includes $750 million in compensation for bereaved families. She believes that without this agreement, individuals would stand no chance of receiving anything from the Sacklers.

Ellen Isaacs, another mother who lost her son to opioid addiction, opposes the current settlement. She strongly believes that the Sacklers should be held accountable for the lives they have “murdered” and treated as criminals. Isaacs feels that the family is getting off too easy, and the current deal allows them to avoid trillions of dollars in damages.

The Supreme Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court’s ruling on this case will have far-reaching implications. It will determine if bankruptcy courts have the power to grant “third party releases” to entities that did not file for bankruptcy themselves. Legal experts view this as one of the most significant bankruptcy cases to come before the Supreme Court in decades.

Third party releases have been involved in settlements of cases related to widespread sexual abuse in organizations like USA Gymnastics, Boy Scouts of America, and the Catholic Church. However, critics argue that such releases do not offer enough oversight and protection for victims or survivors. They fear that without bankruptcy filings, third parties may not contribute a fair amount to compensate those affected.

Another point of contention is whether everyone affected must vote in favor of the settlement. Some claimants have opposed the Purdue Pharma deal, and others have failed to vote altogether. This raises the question of whether settlements can be imposed on individuals without their consent.

Seeking Justice for Victims

For those with stronger claims, rejecting the settlement could potentially result in a much larger payout than the immediate cash amount being offered. Nonetheless, some individuals, like Dede Yoder, believe that any compensation is better than nothing. Without the bankruptcy agreement, she fears that only the lawyers would benefit from lengthy legal battles.

While the outcome of this case remains uncertain, it has ignited a crucial debate about accountability, justice, and the impact of bankruptcy courts on resolving complex legal issues.

Copyright 2023 BBC. All rights reserved.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

Read More of this Story at – 2023-12-05 14:23:07

Read More Latest News

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.