Connecticut will maintain its opposition to a bankruptcy reorganization plan from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma even as 15 other states signed onto a negotiated settlement, according to documents filed in a federal bankruptcy court this week.
“Connecticut continues to strongly oppose this plan,” state Attorney General William Tong said in a statement Thursday. “While some progress has been made—especially around the public document depository—this plan is far from justice. Purdue and the Sacklers have misused this bankruptcy to protect their vast wealth and evade consequences for their callous misconduct.”
The opioid manufacturer, which is based in Stamford and owned by the Sackler family, filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Connecticut was among dozens of states to oppose the company’s request for bankruptcy protection amidst the opioid epidemic.
However, 15 states including Massachusetts, New York, and Maine signed onto a mediated agreement which now includes the public disclosure of more than 30 million documents, additional cash settlements from the Sackler family which will now total more than $4.3 billion, and a requirement that Purdue Pharma be shuttered or sold by 2024, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
The news comes through a Wednesday report from a mediator in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Southern New York after two lengthy in-person mediation meetings in late June and early July.
“All parties participated in the Mediation in good faith. The negotiations were difficult and hard-fought, with the outcome uncertain until well into the night of July 1,” Judge Shelley Chapman wrote in the report.
In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the resolution forced some accountability from the Sackler family, even though it did not bring back people lost to the opioid epidemic.
“This case has also shown us that our legal system needs to change so that billionaires are never allowed to manipulate the bankruptcy system,” Healey said.
Connecticut’s Tong said the deal “alarmingly” still allowed the family to retain its personal wealth.
“We are evaluating all options to continue to fight this bankruptcy plan until all viable options are exhausted,” Tong said. “We need to take a hard look at our bankruptcy laws and our system of justice that allows the Sacklers to walk away clinging to their jewelry, art and vacation homes while the victims of their depraved schemes continue to suffer and grieve.”