WV attorney general files objection to drug company’s bankruptcy plan

West Virginia

FILE – In this Tuesday, May 8, 2007, file photo, a Purdue Pharma logo is affixed to part of a Purdue building in Stamford, Conn. Proposed settlements between the federal government and OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners cleared a major legal hurdle Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, when a bankruptcy judge said they could move ahead. (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a formal objection to a portion of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan after the company recently filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The attorney general says the filing “seeks to ensure West Virginia receives its fair share of any settlement,” by objecting to the company’s “failure” to disclose how its $7 billion proposal would be split among states. He says he is also concerned that could mean the money would be split up based on the state or local government’s population, not the intensity of its problem and where the money is most needed.

Morrisey says 18 counties and 64 municipalities so far have expressed support for his objection.

“Any settlement must reflect the disproportionate harm done in West Virginia,” Morrisey said. “Our position has been clear and consistent. Any allocation plan must account for the intensity of the opioid addiction crisis and give each state the money necessary to fund meaningful remediation efforts in partnership with our local governments.”

Morrisey’s office says the objection argues the company failing to disclose the terms of the distribution would undermine its wish to avoid court order challenges to the current arrangement. He also says if the plan for allocation is based on population it would make the larger bankruptcy plan unconfirmable by failing to account for disparities in the intensity of opioid addiction between states.

According to Morrisey’s Office, Purdue’s $7 billion proposal represents combining the company’s assests and a guaranteed $4.275 billion from the Sackler family. The proposal would also remove the family’s ownership and control of the company, barring them from any future involvement in U.S. opioid sales.

Morrisey had filed a lawsuit against the company and former chief executive Richard Sackler in May 2019 alleging Purdue Pharma had created “a false narrative to convince prescribers that opioids are not addictive and that its opioid products were safer than they actually were.”

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