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U.S. Supreme Court considers bankruptcy deal for maker of OxyContin

Signs in the shape of grave headstones, with information on people who died from using OxyContin, line a security fence outside the Supreme Court. Associated Press/Photo by Stephanie Scarbrough

U.S. Supreme Court considers bankruptcy deal for maker of OxyContin

The Court’s nine justices on Monday reflected divided stances on whether to approve a Purdue Pharma bankruptcy deal that would shield the Sackler family, which owns the company, from lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic. Many of the lawsuits allege that Purdue Pharma downplayed the addictive nature of its OxyContin painkillers. Medical professionals and claimants alike argue OxyContin helped fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Why do people want to sue the Sackler family? Claimants argue the Sackler family made money off the suffering of people who became addicted to OxyContin and that they should not be protected from civil lawsuits. The U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee has also argued that a bankruptcy deal should not protect the Sacklers when they have not declared personal bankruptcy and that protecting them with that deal is illegal.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Charissa Koh’s report about a Purdue Pharma plan to use $10 billion to treat the opioid crisis and whether it was enough.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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