Firm News

Kleinberg Kaplan Partner Matthew Gold Assists State of Washington in Successful Challenge of Purdue Pharma Settlement

Firm News | March 3, 2022 | Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Litigation

Kleinberg Kaplan Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Litigation partner Matthew J. Gold has been representing the State of Washington in its highly publicized legal battle against Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, a painkiller that allegedly contributed to the national opioid crisis. Kleinberg Kaplan senior counsel Robert Tuchman also advises on this matter.

Today, the Attorney General for the State of Washington, Bob Ferguson, announced that the state will receive an additional $113 million from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family following a challenge brought forward by a group of nine attorneys general to the drug maker’s bankruptcy plan.

Attorney General Ferguson and eight other attorneys general won an additional $1.175 billion from the Sacklers to help states, cities, and tribes address the harms of the opioid epidemic. Washington will now receive a total of $183 million from Purdue and Sacklers to address the crisis, more than double the $70 million under the original plan.

The proposed resolution must still be approved by the bankruptcy court. In addition, Purdue and the Sacklers have appealed the District Court’s ruling vacating the original bankruptcy plan. As part of the new proposal, Washington and the eight other attorneys general will drop their opposition to the appeal pending approval of this settlement.

OxyContin was, at times, the most prescribed brand-name narcotic medication for treating severe pain that required around-the-clock management. As lawsuits brought on by state and local governments, tribes, hospitals and individuals grew, Purdue filed for chapter 11 protection in September 2019.

Kleinberg Kaplan’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Litigation practice offers clients an aggressive approach to bankruptcy and insolvency issues. The firm has provided representation to individual and institutional debtors, creditors and investors of every type in bankruptcy litigation, adversary proceedings and contested matters in chapter 11, chapter 7 and chapter 15 cases, such as avoidance actions, adequate protection disputes, confirmation battles and claim disputes.

For additional information on this latest development, please see the recently published press release from the State of Washington.