Purdue Pharma, the maker of the controversial opioid OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 15, 2019. Many blame Purdue for kick-starting the opioid crisis, and so they see its bankruptcy filing as Purdue’s effort to try and shield itself from more than 2,600 lawsuits.
Purdue faces both state-level and federal legal actions. Its filing includes a settlement that it believes is an appropriate resolution for most of its lawsuits – Purdue estimates the settlement to be worth $10 billion.
Some states don’t believe the settlement is worth that much and are contesting the filing. States like New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts are refusing to settle, as they want to go after the Sackler family (who owns Purdue) directly.
These states believe the Sackler family has been transferring Purdue profits to private accounts and shell corporations to hide its excess money.
“I will not stop fighting until I am assured that the Sacklers and Purdue will be held accountable,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Twitter.
As a result of the filing, Purdue hopes to restructure. The Sackler family will also be forced to sell their UK-based pharmaceutical company MundiPharma – but until it sells, the family can still profit from it.