(Reuters) – A US judge on Wednesday began ruling on OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma's request to approve a bankruptcy reorganization plan to protect the company's Sackler family owners from future opioid disputes.
If US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approves the deal, which Purdue values more than $ 10 billion, it would clear a way to solve thousands of opioid cases.
Judge Drain began reading his verdict by saying that it was clearly incorrect marketing of the company's opioid products. contributed to the country's crisis of dependence, which affected every corner of the country. "That makes the bankruptcy case before me very unusual and complex," Judge Drain said.
Judge Drain did not immediately state how he would govern, as he continued to read his opinion.
The plan would dissolve the drug maker and move assets to a new company owned by a trust rather than the Sackler family members.
The new company was to be run to combat the opioid epidemic in American communities, which claimed that Purdue and its owners aggressively marketed the painkiller OxyContin while playing down their addiction and overdose risks.
The plan contains legal notices protecting Sackler's family members from future opioid litigation, a controversial provision that some states opposed. US opioid epidemic. They have said they acted ethically and legally while serving on Purdue's board.
Purdue's bankruptcy plan includes a $ 4.5 billion grant from family members in Sackler. The grant is in the form of cash that would be paid for about a decade and also includes $ 1
Judge Drain noted that the plan had overwhelming support from almost all states, local governments, tribes, hospitals and other creditors who voted for the restructuring. They became creditors in bankruptcy by suing Purdue and Sackler family members for their alleged contribution to the nationwide opioid epidemic.
The main opponents include several public prosecutors.
"In our view, Sacklers is responsible for extensive damage in Maryland and nationwide," Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement on Tuesday. "This plan allows Sacklers to enjoy billions of dollars in wealth."
The legal battle is likely to be delayed beyond Wednesday's verdict. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who has opposed the plan, is preparing to appeal if necessary, according to his office.
The drug manufacturer in Stamford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in November for handling opioids.