Los Angeles, Dec 16 (EFE).- A United States judge annulled Thursday the bankruptcy agreement of OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, which would have protected its owners, the Sackler family, from future lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.
District New York District Judge Colleen McMahon ruled the bankruptcy court that made that decision in September had no authority to relieve the Sackler family of their responsibilities, according to several US media outlets.
In 2019, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Purdue and four other distributors that led to a settlement in Bankruptcy Court in September whereby the pharmaceutical company was dissolved and emerged as a company controlled by authorities.
The settlement also required the Sacklers to hand over $ 4.5 billion over a nine-year period to help mitigate the consequences of the opioid crisis and exempted them from future liability lawsuits.
Other than protecting the Sackler family from future opioid-related lawsuits, the terms of the pact would have allowed them to keep much of the money they made from Purdue, without requiring them to admit to any wrongdoing.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who helped settle the bankruptcy settlement, said Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family “remain the defendants in the ongoing litigation and will be held responsible for their illegal behavior one way or another.”
According to court documents, between 2008 and 2010, the business owners took 70 percent of Purdue’s revenue each year, and 40 percent and 55 percent between 2011 and 2016 between. From 2008 to 2018, the amount drawn was more than $ 10.7 billion.
Authorities said nearly 500,000 people died in the United States from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2019.
More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses In 2020 according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a 30 percent increase from the previous year, which had also surpassed a record.
Of those deaths, 69,710 were attributed to opioid overdoses. EFE