West Virginia opposes Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan
CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has said he will oppose the bankruptcy plan of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, arguing that his state, one of the most hard hit by the opioid epidemic, would run out of settlement money.
“I remain vigorously opposed to a proposed allocation formula that would allocate settlement funds largely based on the population of a state or local government – not the intensity of the problem,” said Morrisey Tuesday.
Purdue’s plan to reorganize into a new entity that helps fight the opioid epidemic in the United States received a big boost last week, 15 states that had previously opposed the new business model gave their support.
The agreement of several state attorneys general, including those who had most aggressively opposed Purdue’s initial settlement proposal, was disclosed last Wednesday in a file filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in White Plains. , New York. This followed weeks of intense mediation that resulted in changes to Purdue’s initial exit plan.
But nine states and the District of Columbia did not sign the proposal. Some criticize him for not demanding more from members of the wealthy Sackler family who own the business and have accepted no blame.
Morrisey, a Republican, had previously said he opposed the proposal on separate grounds. He reiterated Tuesday that the award formula “fails to recognize the disproportionate damage caused by opioids in our state.”
In an emailed statement Tuesday, the Sackler family said, “This mediation resolution is an important step towards providing substantial resources to people and communities in need. The Sackler family hopes these funds will help achieve this goal.
For years, West Virginia has had the highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses in the country.
“I look forward to bringing our case to court in August,” added Morrisey. After next month’s hearing, a federal bankruptcy judge will decide whether or not to uphold the deal.
Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019 to settle approximately 3,000 lawsuits it faced from state and local governments and other entities. They said the company’s continued marketing of its powerful prescription pain reliever has contributed to a crisis linked to nearly 500,000 deaths in the United States over the past two decades.