By AARON KATERSKY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, is seeking bankruptcy court approval Tuesday regarding a settlement with the Justice Department that includes a guilty plea and $8 billion in penalties.
“The proposed settlement with the Department of Justice should be approved because it fully resolves the United States’ criminal and civil investigations of the Debtors in a manner that is fair, equitable, and in the best interests of the estates,” Purdue Pharma’s attorney, Marshall Huebner, wrote in a court filing ahead of the hearing.
Several states and a number of opioid victims oppose the settlement, however. They argue it’s too lenient on the controlling members of the Sackler family and reorganizes Purdue Pharma as a public benefit corporation, effectively putting the federal government in the opioid business.
“The DOJ settlement mandates the preservation of the OxyContin business under the government’s protection as a Public Benefit Company. This requirement in the settlement is improper, corrosive to public faith in government, and offensive to the tens of thousands of families who have been harmed,” said a group of families affected by the opioid epidemic.
The Justice Department called the agreement “significant” since it requires Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to three felonies and steers money to communities ravaged by opioid abuse.
Purdue Pharma echoed the sentiment.
“This milestone settlement should be approved now—not delayed, deferred, or risked. If approved, the DOJ Resolution will preserve billions of dollars of value for creditors other than the federal government and will maximize the value available to address the opioid crisis,” the company wrote.
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