Judge tosses Purdue Pharma's $4.5B opioid settlement

A federal judge on Dec. 16 reversed Purdue Pharma's $4.5 billion opioid settlement, saying members of the Sackler family could not be granted legal immunity from other opioid lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon wrote in her decision that she cannot approve the settlement — part of Purdue Pharma's restructuring plan that was approved by a bankruptcy judge in September — because it frees the Sackler family, the drugmakers' founders and owners, from liability in future opioid-related cases.

The Sackler family made immunization from opioid claims a requirement in exchange for paying $4.5 from their personal wealth to the bankruptcy settlement, but Ms. McMahon said the bankruptcy code does not allow a judge to grant such immunity.

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