Apr 10, 2023

Loophole In Law Will Shield Sackler Family From Future Opioid Lawsuits

A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared the way for a bankruptcy deal for opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sacklers. The ruling overturns a lower court's ruling in 2021.

NPR: Appeals Court Approves A Deal To Shield The Sackler Family From Opioid Lawsuits In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court in New York cleared the way for a bankruptcy deal for opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. The deal will shield members of the Sackler family, who own the company, from future lawsuits. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals spent more than a year reviewing the case after a lower court ruled it was improper for Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy deal to block future lawsuits against the Sackler family. (Mann, 5/30)

Axios: Court Ruling Casts Long Shadow Over Future Opioid Lawsuits A federal appeals court on Tuesday potentially laid the groundwork for corporations to avoid legal exposure in future opioid lawsuits through a technicality in bankruptcy law. ... Tuesday's decision presses the boundaries of "what we understood commercial bankruptcy to be about" and could inspire more corporations with similar circumstances to limit liability through bankruptcy courts, said Deborah Hensler, a professor at Stanford Law School. This could include mass litigation over toxic chemical exposure or contaminated water, Hensler told Axios. (Moreno, 5/31)

More on the opioid crisis —

AP: US Sanctions Chinese, Mexican Companies Over Pill Making Machinery The United States Treasury sanctioned more than a dozen people and businesses in China and Mexico Tuesday that allegedly helped provide machines used to make counterfeit prescription drugs in the latest efforts to confront trafficking of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. Those targeted for sanctions were all involved in one or another with the sale of pill press machines, molds and other equipment drug cartels use to produce counterfeit pills. (5/30)

Los Angeles Times: With Fentanyl Deaths Soaring, L.A. County Is Giving Out Drug Pipes And Other Supplies By a line of ragged RVs slung along 78th Street in South Los Angeles, a seven-member team passes out glass pipes used for smoking opioids, crack and methamphetamine. Part of the front line of Los Angeles County's offensive against the deadly fentanyl epidemic, the group hands out other supplies: clean needles, sanitary wipes, fentanyl test strips and naloxone, medication that can reverse an overdose. (Holland, 5/30)

Axios: Fentanyl Overdoses Surge In Portland A string of fentanyl-related overdoses in recent weeks has drawn attention to the drug's growing presence in Portland. Why it matters: Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has fueled a significant increase in overdoses since 2019, according to Oregon Health Authority data. (Gebel, 5/30)

OPB: ‘It's Crazy Out There’: The Reasons Behind Oregon's Deepening Drug Crisis For years, Oregonians have reported some of the highest rates of substance use disorder in the nation on federal surveys. The opioid crisis is nearly three decades old and use of methamphetamine, long Oregon's deadliest drug, has not abated. At the same time, the state consistently has among the lowest treatment availability in the country, according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fentanyl — a cheap, incredibly addictive synthetic opioid — has made all of those problems much worse. (Wilson, 5/30)

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