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Federal Judge Removes Protection For The Sackler Family

Federal Judge Removes Protection For The Sackler Family

A federal court on Thursday overruled the decision by a bankruptcy court that had decided the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma who have been tied to the opiod crisis, would not have to face civil lawsuits. The ruling was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon. The Federal District Court's decision pleased Attorney General Merrick Garland, who wrote a statement that read, "The bankruptcy court did not have the authority to deprive victims of the opioid crisis of their right to sue the Sackler family." The $4.5 billion settlement the bankruptcy court reached agreed to shield the Sackler family from facing any civil lawsuits or criminal cases. The Sacklers threatened to walk away from the settlement if the court did not guarantee them legal protection. The family has not made a statement on Thursday's decision. U.S. bankruptcy court judge Robert Drain ruled that if there was no protection provided to the Sackler family, it would derail the reorganization of Purdue Pharma, the goal of which is to direct funds toward individuals and communities that have suffered from the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in 2019 in the face of 3,000 lawsuits, which name the Sackler family and the pharma company as key contributors to the opioid epidemic that has killed 760,000 people since 1999. The accusations claim the Sackler family and the company pushed lies about their drug OxyContin, claiming it was not addictive while downplaying the risks associated with overdose.

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