A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday extended “extraordinary” protections for the mega-rich Sackler family amid a call from legal experts for a special examiner to investigate the family’s finances and role in the opioid crisis.
The Sacklers own and control OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, which has largely been blamed for helping to spark the opioid crisis that now kills 130 people in the United States each day. The Sacklers and Purdue face around 2,000 lawsuits from states, cities, and municipalities, all alleging that they aggressively marketed their opioids and misled regulators, doctors, and patients about the drugs’ addictiveness.
Purdue filed for bankruptcy in September as part of a tentative settlement agreement with over 2,600 plaintiffs. But the Sacklers—who have an estimated worth of $13 billion— have not filed for bankruptcy. Moreover, state attorneys general have accused the family of quietly siphoning some of Purdue’s $35 billion from OxyContin sales into their own pockets and out of reach from litigation.
Source: Ars Technica – Sacklers get extra bankruptcy protections as legal experts call for probe