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Supreme Court hears case on Sackler family liability protections in Perdue Pharma opioid settlement

No Sackler family member has been involved in the company since 2019

Published: December 4, 2023 10:28am

Updated: December 4, 2023 10:30am

The Supreme Court will on Monday take up the Biden administration’s objection to the bankruptcy reorganization plan of opioid maker Purdue Pharma that includes a provision to protects the Sackler family, which owns the company, from liability in future lawsuits.

As part of the proposed plan, which the Supreme Court put on hold in August, the family had agreed to pay about  $6 billion that could be used to settle opioid-related claims, but only if its release from any liability in future cases.

The case and the family have been a focal point in the country's opioid crisis, which has raised questions about how pharmaceutical companies might have created or contributed to the problem 

No Sackler family member has been involved in the company since 2019, according to NBC News.

The court's nine justices during oral arguments Monday will ask about whether the bankruptcy court had the authority to release Sackler family members from the claims by opioid victims.

Purdue made billions from OxyContin, a widely available painkiller in the opioid epidemic, which increased scrutiny about the company aggressively marketing the drug.

The company sought bankruptcy protection, but the Sackler family members, meanwhile,negotiated a separate deal with Purdue and plaintiffs in pending lawsuits.

The administration objects to the release of additional claims against the Sacklers.

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