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Politics Judge: Purdue Pharma can resume groundwork on its settlement

05:00  14 october  2021
05:00  14 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Purdue Pharma will admit to enabling the supply of drugs "without legitimate medical purpose". The deal with US Department of Justice resolves some of the most serious claims against the firm. But it still faces thousands of cases brought by states and families. Under the terms of the settlement , Purdue will admit to conspiring to defraud the US and violating anti-kickback laws in its distribution of the addictive painkillers. Those included payments the firm made to healthcare companies and doctors to encourage prescribing the drugs, which were ultimately paid for by public health programmes.

A New York federal judge said appellate review of the .5 billion settlement will focus on whether the deal is permitted by the U.S. Constitution or bankruptcy code.

A federal judge on Wednesday allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy.

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2021, file photo, fake pill bottles with messages about OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma are displayed during a protest outside the courthouse where the bankruptcy of the company is taking place in White Plains, N.Y. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13 allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2021, file photo, fake pill bottles with messages about OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma are displayed during a protest outside the courthouse where the bankruptcy of the company is taking place in White Plains, N.Y. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13 allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The decision from U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon denied a request from an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice to keep Purdue's work on hold pending an appeal of the settlement. McMahon partially reversed a position she took over the weekend when she temporarily halted the company's efforts at the request of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee.

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Purdue Pharma declared bankruptcy on Sunday. Under its proposed settlement offer, members of the Sackler family who own the Stamford firm would turn its operations over to a trust controlled by those seeking redress for what they say is Purdue ’s contributions to the national opioid crisis. Only about half of the states suing the company have expressed support for that offer – valued at as much as billion – with Connecticut and New York among those who have rejected it. Drain’s ruling will allow Purdue to continue paying employees and vendors, supplying pills to distributors, and keeping current

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said he’ll approve Purdue Pharma LP’s sweeping settlement of opioid-related civil claims on Wednesday, paving the way for the company and its owners, members of the Sackler family, to pay billions of dollars to benefit places hit hard by the epidemic. Drain, who has overseen a multiweek trial over the deal, began delivering his ruling on Wednesday morning, and later in the day approved a portion of the settlement dealing with estate claims. He said more than six hours into his bench ruling that he would approve the bankruptcy plan pending minor changes discussed

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 file photo, Jayde Newton helps to set up cardboard gravestones with the names of victims of opioid abuse outside the courthouse where the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy is taking place in White Plains, N.Y. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13 allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 file photo, Jayde Newton helps to set up cardboard gravestones with the names of victims of opioid abuse outside the courthouse where the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy is taking place in White Plains, N.Y. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13 allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Before Purdue can resume, the judge said she needs to extract a promise from the company and the other entities that agreed to the settlement. They would pledge not to undermine the appeal in the future by claiming the settlement process had progressed too far to stop.

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(Reuters) -The judge overseeing Purdue Pharma ’s bankruptcy said on Monday that some members of the Sackler family who own the OxyContin maker face a “substantial risk” of liability and could be on the hook for "huge amounts of money" over claims the company fueled the opioid epidemic. Under the deal, which Purdue says is worth more than billion, the Sacklers would contribute about .5 billion and receive legal protections against future opioid-related litigation. Drain did not explicitly state which way he will rule but suggested he finds the deal was sufficient.

A U.S. judge in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case expects to rule on Friday on the OxyContin maker’s request to approve its settlement of opioid-related litigation. During a hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, said he plans to rule at the end of the week. A trial over the plan and settlement began on Aug. 12. The deal, which Purdue says is worth more than billion, has widespread support but is still opposed by nine U.S. states. Members of the Sackler family who own the company have said they will contribute about .5 billion in exchange for

Lawyers for Purdue said in court this week that the company and other parties who supported the settlement — a group that includes Sackler family members and most states — are willing to sign such a pledge. Lawyers said they want to be ready to get money quickly to governments and victims of the opioid crisis if the settlement stands.

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2020, file photo, Purdue Pharma headquarters stands in Stamford, Conn. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2020, file photo, Purdue Pharma headquarters stands in Stamford, Conn. A federal judge on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, allowed Purdue Pharma to resume its work carrying out the recent $10 billion settlement plan that allowed the Oxycontin maker to emerge from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Last month, a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York, approved Purdue's plan to settle 3,000 lawsuits and more than 100,000 other claims for damages the company faced related to the toll of the opioids crisis. Prescription and illicit opioids have been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the last two decades.

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In its bankruptcy filing, Purdue denied it is “seeking refuge” and said the settlement is the best way to deliver the most possible money to the public. The company projected it will spend 3 million this year on legal expenses and other matters associated with the litigation, and warned that the Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, will have wide discretion over the case, including whether the states that don’t like the settlement can press on with their lawsuits. Drain is scheduled to hold his first hearing on the bankruptcy plan Tuesday. “It is likely to change a fair amount

(Reuters) - The judge overseeing Purdue Pharma ’s bankruptcy on Friday urged opponents of the OxyContin maker’s reorganization plan, which would resolve widespread opioid litigation, to settle quickly with the company’s Sackler family owners because it would save time and money on appeals “I think, having heard the lawyers from both sides – they are very talented lawyers, they know the risks they face – I would hope their clients would also be realistic about those risks,” Drain said. Purdue has said the deal, which directs funding toward opioid abatement programs, is worth more than billion.

The bankruptcy settlement calls for turning Purdue into a new entity with its profits being used to fight the epidemic. It also calls for members of the Sackler family to contribute $4.5 billion in cash and charitable assets, and to give up ownership of Purdue.

A provision that is a driving force behind the appeal gives the Sacklers protection from civil lawsuits related to opioids. In a hearing Tuesday in her New York courtroom, McMahon said she intended to cast aside other legal arguments.

“That’s the big dog here," she said. “That presents a pure question of law.”

The appeal in federal district court is just one part of a complicated legal case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain, who approved Purdue's settlement, has scheduled a hearing for next month that also hinges on the question of whether the plan should be put on hold. He's also being asked to send the case to U.S. Circuit Court, a move that would bypass McMahon's court. But the appeals judges would have to agree to take it.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee's office did not comment immediately Wednesday on what step it might take next.

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