Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Court Settlement Estimate Accepted by Sullivan County |
BLOUNTVILLE – The Sullivan County Commission executive committee agreed on Monday to accept $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion as the “global pie” amount offered by a bankruptcy court as Purdue Pharma’s estimated asset. This “pie” will be divided at a later date among the plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits against the company.
Sullivan County is among the plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against Purdue, the maker of Oxycontin, for damage caused by opioid addiction.
Tricia Herzfeld is a lawyer with Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, the firm representing Baby Doe and the participating cities and counties. Herzfeld spoke with the executive committee via video call to explain the settlement offer.
Herzfeld said Purdue Pharma is owned by the Sackler family and has been estimated over several years, in anticipation of possible lawsuits for the addictiveness of Oxycontin, which family members have withdrawn as many as 10 years. billion dollars of the business and “left the cupboards empty”.
Herzfeld said lawyers for the plaintiffs had rejected several earlier and lower offers on how much the family would agree to hand over for distribution by the bankruptcy court, but their legal opinion now is that the current offer of around $ 5 billion is the best that will come. Herzfeld said Purdue Pharma will not continue as the same company, but will have a successor and that successor profits will flow to the plaintiffs for years to come. That’s where the $ 10 billion premium settlement estimate comes in.
District Attorney General Barry Staubus pointed out that the figure of $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion was the whole “pie” to be divided among plaintiffs nationwide. Complainants range from individuals to district attorneys, to cities and entire states.
Staubus said how the colony is divided is another step. The big states, like California or Texas, could argue for it to be divided by the population. Staubus said plaintiffs in our region will argue the division should be based on the percentage of the population damaged by the opioid crisis.
Herzfeld said there was no way at this point to know how much of the Purdue settlement would go to Sullivan County.
The Sullivan Baby Doe lawsuit was originally filed on June 13, 2017 by the Attorneys General for the First, Second and Third Judicial Districts of Tennessee at the Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport. The complaint originally listed prescription opioid maker Purdue Pharma, LP and its related companies, as well as Mallinckrodt PLC, Endo Pharmaceuticals, a pill mill doctor and other convicted opioid dealers as defendants.
As part of the national review of opioid producers and distributors, in part because of Sullivan Baby Doe’s arguments, Purdue and Mallinckrodt have declared bankruptcy, and lawsuits have been brought against them in the relevant courts. Endo remains the only active corporate defendant.
The plaintiffs in the Sullivan Baby Doe case seek $ 2.4 billion in compensatory damages and punitive damages beyond that amount.
A default judgment in favor of the plaintiff was issued by the court in April. A lawsuit for damages against Endo is expected to begin in less than two weeks.
Sullivan County Commission rules authorize the executive committee to negotiate and make decisions about prosecutions.