I bet you expected a Georgia indictments article; well, I’ll spare you that, (for a few days anyway). Today I’d like to take a look at a pending case before the Supreme Court. I’m not sure whether that is good news or not; I just want to explore.
Last Thursday the Court decided it would hear arguments in the Perdue Pharma bankruptcy case. This is the legal core of the opioid crisis.
The Sackler family owned Perdue Pharma whose marketing of OxyContin led to the opioid crisis and the ruination of many lives. The Sacklers made billions off of the drug most of which conveniently disappeared, from the reach of the courts anyway.
There are three books on the Recommended Reading list that form the bulk of my knowledge in the underlying matter. I suggest they be read in the following order: The Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe followed by Beth Macy’s Dopesick and then her book Raising Lazarus.
The basic story here is one of greed – the Sackler’s greed. They marketed the drug in such a manner as to facilitate bad things happening to good people. The they moved billions out of the corporation so as to leave it relatively broke when the inevitable lawsuits hit. Their lawyers finally agreed to a settlement that would limit their liability and shield them from any future claims. In other words, they pay a relatively small fine and get to keep the bulk of their ill gotten gains along with being free from any future issues. The Court has agreed to review the settlement.
How narrow the Court’s ruling will be is my major concern. They could rule as narrowly as: Does the bankruptcy court have the authority to offer a shield from future suits? They could simply rubber stamp the existing agreement or throw it out and toss the matter back to bankruptcy court. Typical of many Court communications of late, the notice was unsigned and offered few, if any, details. It appears the decision to hear the case was uncontested. Read into that what you choose.
As it currently stands a lot of lucky sperm cell club members get to stay wealthy while a lot of average Joe’s become addicted. They, their communities and their families suffer.
A decision to watch for in 2024 will be in Harrington v Perdue Pharma, L.P. or at least that is what the root case is currently called. Will the Court defend the people or will it side with big business like it did in AT&T Mobility v Concepcion?
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