Like much of the country, the court systems nearly ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now many cases are moving forward as local, state, and federal courts reopen around the country. Opioid cases are no exception.
According to the CDC, opioids have contributed to hundreds of thousands of American deaths. The fallout from this crisis has forced at least two companies into bankruptcy, including Purdue Pharma.
Purdue Pharma is a drug company that filed for bankruptcy in September 2019. They have been accused of utilizing deceptive marketing practices that misled victims by understating the risks of addiction posed by its products.
One of their products, OxyContin, is said to have fueled the opioid crisis that resulted in the overdose deaths of at least 400,000 people in the United States between 1999 and 2017.
VanDerGinst Law recently filed claims in the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy case on behalf of dozens of people who were impacted by the opioid crisis. This will likely be a very long process, but the seeds have been planted to help people recover from the damage caused.
Some experts say that the opioid crisis is costing communities hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Despite the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical companies deemed responsible for the crisis, there will never be enough money to right all the wrong that’s been done. The amount of damage is just too great.
Claims Against Purdue Pharma
The filing deadline for claims against Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, was July 30th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. The company chose to voluntarily file bankruptcy, which some critics say shields them from taking responsibility for the crisis they created.
This move also requires victims and their families to jump through complex legal hoops to secure the minimum compensation for their damages. According to the bankruptcy filings, claims against the company totaled $2.156 trillion.
At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Purdue Pharma faced over 2,600 federal and state lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. The goal of the bankruptcy was to address the increasing groups of claims to avoid spending years in court and millions of dollars in litigation costs and to help the company restructure for their future.
Current Status of the Opioid Crisis Claims
On August 26, 2020, an omnibus hearing was held during which the court heard a variety of different matters relating to this one particular case.
In bankruptcy court, an omnibus hearing is where the trustee makes a blanket ruling for all creditors – allowing or disallowing creditors’ claims.
At this point in the process, claimants are waiting for debtors to submit their information to the courts, and then for the courts to make rulings based on the information submitted.
As the case progresses, VanDerGinst Law will continue to monitor the case and provide updates to our clients as they are available.