Democrats Seek Tougher Penalties for Purdue Pharma Owners

June 11, 2021

House Democrats and state attorneys general rallied this week against a controversial bankruptcy settlement moving forward in the opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, calling for passage of legislation to hold its owners, the Sackler family, accountable.

Democrats and nearly two dozen attorneys general believe that the settlement deal would let members of the Sackler family off the hook because it would give them immunity to future opioid litigation, allow them to retain ownership of overseas firms and not require admission of wrongdoing.

It would also allow them to keep a significant amount of their billion-dollar fortunes accrued from sales of OxyContin. The bankruptcy judge overseeing the case, Judge Robert Drain, has argued that a settlement is the best way to quickly obtain financial support for those harmed by the opioid epidemic and avoid lengthy and expensive legal proceedings.

The proposed settlement, which would additionally make the Sackler family pay $4.28 billion in restitution and controversially turn Purdue Pharma into a public benefit corporation, is scheduled to be voted on by the company’s creditors on Aug. 9.

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