Tong Alleges Intimidation in Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Case
Attorney General William Tong on Friday accused the family behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma of trying to intimidate Connecticut and other states that last week opposed the company’s negotiated bankruptcy settlement.
Tong released a statement reacting to a motion on Thursday by the Raymond Sackler family, which asked the US bankruptcy court in southern New York state to impose sanctions on Connecticut as well as California, Maryland, in Rhode Island and Washington, DC
According to the attorney general’s office, the petition was served but was subsequently withdrawn and was never filed in court.
In a scathing press release, Tong called the motion a direct attack on Connecticut and a huge mistake.
“If these licensed thugs think they can get on their yachts by hanging on to their art and jewelry, they have something else to come,” Tong said. “If there was any doubt, let me be incredibly clear – Connecticut will file our objection to Purdue’s bankruptcy on Monday and we will fight until all viable options are exhausted.”
The four states and the District of Columbia announced last week that they would continue to oppose a plan to reorganize the Stamford-based company, which is seeking bankruptcy protection amid the outbreak of opioids in progress.
Many other states have agreed to the terms of the mediation plan which now includes the public disclosure of more than 30 million documents, additional cash settlements from the Raymond Sackler family that will total more than $ 4.3 billion, and the requirement that Purdue Pharma be closed or sold by 2024, according to a press release from Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
But Tong and some other attorneys general have maintained that the settlement allows the family to escape the consequences of the damage caused by widespread opioid addiction.
In Thursday’s petition, the Raymond Sackler family asked the court to reprimand Connecticut and some of the other opposing states, force them to pay related expenses and strike some statements from the court record. Lawyers for the family argue that states made unsubstantiated claims.
“[E]Each state has presented factual allegations and assertions to this Court that are totally lacking in evidence, ”the family lawyers wrote in the petition. “Every state and every council knew that these factual allegations lacked evidence or would have known if they had conducted the reasonable investigation” required by the court.
In Friday’s press release, Tong said the lawyers’ decision to withdraw the petition suggested it was a colossal miscalculation.
“The fact that they’re still engaging in these legal tantrums just proves to me that this is still a live fight and that our opposition is gaining ground,” he said.