OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to pay states' lawyers, urged to help victims




OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to pay states' lawyers, urged to help victims


By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP got court approval on Tuesday to reimburse millions of dollars in legal fees for states that back its proposed $10 billion settlement of opioid lawsuits, but with a condition meant to help victims of the addiction crisis.

Purdue had told Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain at Tuesday's hearing in White Plains, New York that paying the fees for seven firms that work on behalf of states and local governments would help bring structure to its Chapter 11 case and resolve it quickly.

Drain said he wanted reimbursement of the fees for four law firms, a financial adviser and two economic consultants conditioned on the parties reaching a deal on the quick release of emergency funds for victims.

Purdue proposed a $200 million emergency fund last month that could be spent quickly on addiction treatment while the parties resolve the entire bankruptcy case, a process that will take many months. Purdue has said the money has been tied up by disagreements among states, local governments and others parties over how to spend the funds.

Scott Bickford, who represents guardians of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome caused by opioid exposure in the womb, urged Drain to reject the reimbursement request.

"It's difficult for me to explain to my constituents why states and government authorities which have the funds to pay lawyers get their fees paid when it could be used for a hospital," he said. "We think it sends the wrong message to victims of the opioid crisis."

Purdue filed for bankruptcy in September in the face of thousands of lawsuits alleging it helped fuel the opioid crisis by playing down the addiction risks of its painkillers, which Purdue has denied.

The company entered bankruptcy with a framework settlement it has said is worth $10 billion, supported by about two dozen states and the local governments that filed the bulk of the lawsuits.

As governments perform due diligence on the settlement, Purdue will reimburse their reasonable fees, which could reach $20 million, a lawyer for the official committee of unsecured creditors said at Tuesday's hearing.

Purdue still faces significant opposition led by the attorneys general from New York and Massachusetts, who have said they want the Sackler family that owns Purdue to contribute more than the proposed $3 billion.

The Sacklers also have agreed to cede control of Purdue to those who are suing it, and sell overseas businesses.





Related News

NFL notebook: Giants officially give Manning starting nod
Today, 02:09
Eli Manning will start at quarterback for the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night in place of rookie Daniel Jones, who has been ruled out with a high-ankle sprain, the team announced Saturday. Manning, 38, has not started
North Korea carries out 'very significant' test at satellite launch site: KCNA
Today, 02:06
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has carried out a "very significant" test at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media KCNA reported on Sunday, a rocket testing ground that U.S. officials once said North Korea had promised to close. The
Australian firefighters try to control bushfires ahead of hot days
Today, 02:03
By Lidia Kelly MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Firefighters in eastern Australia used easing weather conditions on Sunday to bring bushfires under control ahead of forecast of soaring temperatures for next week. There were 96 fires burning in New South Wales,
Hong Kong gears up for mass rally as government appeals for calm
Today, 01:03
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong was gearing up for a mass rally on Sunday that is expected to gauge support for pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city as the government appealed to people to express their views peacefully. Police
Shooting near Mexico's presidential residence leaves four dead - local media
Today, 00:06
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A shooting on Saturday near Mexico's National Palace, the president's residence in the capital's historic downtown, has left four people dead and two people injured, Foro TV reported. Mexican President Andres



Latest News
NFL notebook: Giants officially give Manning starting nod
08.12.2019 02:09
Eli Manning will start at quarterback for the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night in place of rookie Daniel Jones, who has been ruled out with a high-ankle sprain, the team announced Saturday. Manning, 38, has not started since Week 2. He passed for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions before the Giants
Read more
North Korea carries out 'very significant' test at satellite launch site: KCNA
08.12.2019 02:06
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has carried out a "very significant" test at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media KCNA reported on Sunday, a rocket testing ground that U.S. officials once said North Korea had promised to close. The KCNA report did not specify what was tested, but the site has previously been used to launch rockets
Read more
Australian firefighters try to control bushfires ahead of hot days
08.12.2019 02:03
By Lidia Kelly MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Firefighters in eastern Australia used easing weather conditions on Sunday to bring bushfires under control ahead of forecast of soaring temperatures for next week. There were 96 fires burning in New South Wales, home to Australia's largest city of Sydney, with only about a half contained and more than
Read more
Hong Kong gears up for mass rally as government appeals for calm
08.12.2019 01:03
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong was gearing up for a mass rally on Sunday that is expected to gauge support for pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city as the government appealed to people to express their views peacefully. Police gave the green light to Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) - organizer of largely peaceful million-strong
Read more
Shooting near Mexico's presidential residence leaves four dead - local media
08.12.2019 00:06
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A shooting on Saturday near Mexico's National Palace, the president's residence in the capital's historic downtown, has left four people dead and two people injured, Foro TV reported. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was traveling on Saturday.
Read more