Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy plan would grant immunity to Sackler family

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy plan overcame a critical obstacle June 2 when a federal judge advanced the deal, moving it to a final vote by the drugmaker's creditors slated to take place this summer. Many states' attorneys general had opposed the plan, as it would grant the Sackler family, the drugmakers' founders and owners, immunity from future opioid lawsuits.

In October, Purdue Pharma agreed to shut down its company, pay roughly $8.3 billion and plead guilty to three federal criminal charges for its role in creating and exacerbating the nation's opioid epidemic. However, no Sackler has faced criminal charges.

The bankruptcy plan's immunity covers dozens of Sacklers, more than 160 financial trusts and at least 170 companies, consultants and other entities associated with the family, according to legal documents filed within the case.

The plan requires the Sacklers to contribute $4.5 billion from their personal wealth to the settlement, which will be paid over nine or 10 years and will mostly go toward a national opioid abatement program. It also requires them to relinquish control of the drugmaker. However, members of the family will still own other companies and stay one of the country's wealthiest families. Critics of the plan have pointed out that the plan also allows the family to admit no wrongdoing, according to NPR.

In coming weeks, Purdue Pharma's proposal to restructure itself as a nonprofit will be voted on by more than 600,000 plaintiffs suing the drugmaker. The final decision is up to Judge Robert Drain, and a final confirmation hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9. Mr. Drain has said believes the deal is the best option to deliver timely relief to communities affected by the opioid crisis, according to NPR.

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