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Update on Purdue Opioid Bankruptcy Claims

white pills in a pill box shaped like america with the american flag in the background

Purdue Pharmaceutical filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in September of 2019 toward the goal of managing risk (financial and, perhaps, criminal) and to try and resolve thousands of opioid-related lawsuits filed across the United States and tens of thousands of claims that had not yet been filed. This bankruptcy gave creditors the ability to file claims against the opioid manufacturer. Those filing claims included The United States of America, individual states, cities and counties, Native American Tribes, Health Insurance carriers, Labor Unions and Individuals who suffered from addiction, financial loss, and even death from drugs such as OxyContin®, Dilaudid®, and MSContin® and the opioid epidemic.

Current estimates are that approximately 100,000 such claims were filed before the July 30, 2020 deadline. Administration and hopeful resolution of many of these claims is anticipated to take years. Criteria have not yet been defined to determine what will “qualify” claims for inclusion in a potential settlement. There has not yet been an indication as to whether or not claims filed will be permitted to be revised or supplemented with documentation additional to that which was filed with their proofs of claims initially. It is also too early to get an understanding as to the total amount of money that will be available for individual claims (versus those claims filed by the US, the States, Municipalities, Tribal entities, Health Insurers, etc.).

The proposed settlement between the US Dept. of Justice, Purdue, and the Sackler Family has recently been in the news. It appears as if this proposed settlement (which is not yet approved by the Court) does not make provision for the individual claims. The Bankruptcy Judge, Judge Drain has indicated that he wants to have a plan for moving the Purdue Chapter 11 Bankruptcy forward by end-of-year. It appears he wants this case to proceed as fast as practicable.

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