Purdue Pharma was allowed to appeal a federal judge’s decision to reject legal protections for Sackler family members who own the OxyContin producer, which were a key part of the company’s Bankruptcy reorganisation plan. Purdue will have another chance to retain a $4.5 billion opioid litigation settlement at the centre of its strategy, thanks to U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon’s decision.
Purdue has until January 17 to submit an appeal with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. In December, McMahon overturned a Bankruptcy judge’s approval of the deal. The agreement includes nondebtor releases, which protect the Sacklers from future opioid-related litigation. Several states, as well as the US Department of Justice’s monitor, protested the releases, claiming that the Sacklers should not be given such safeguards because they did not file for Bankruptcy themselves.
Settlement cash would be put toward opioid abatement programmes under Purdue’s reorganisation plan. A lawyer for many states objecting to the expedited appeal did not respond to a request for comment right away. The Sacklers’ representatives either declined to comment or did not react to a request for comment right away. While the appeal is pending in the courts, Purdue and the Sacklers are in mediation with the states that rejected the releases in the hopes of reaching a new agreement that, if obtained, would effectively end the case.