LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF) – While many branches of government have been filing law suits against the makers of opioids, those most affected by it have been relegated to the sidelines.
Last week, that changed.
On Friday, the federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy case of Purdue Pharma set a June 30, 2020, deadline to file a claim against the company. That includes governments, entities such as hospitals and, for the first time, individuals who have personal injury claims.
As part of its bankruptcy filing, Purdue has already reached an agreement with some states and local governments that could be worth more than $10 billion. But courts have emphasized that no final settlement is in place.
Once a settlement and restructuring deal for Purdue is approved, the next step will be deciding how to divide the company’s assets. There is no guarantee those who became addicted to opioids or their families would receive any money. Those seeking restitution from Purdue will have to prove they were harmed by a Purdue product, not opioids in general.
In bankruptcy proceedings, notices for claim deadlines are usually made in ads in publications or in letters mailed to people who might be eligible to file. Purdue’s case is different because so many people might be able to assert legal damages against the company.
Purdue is planning an ad campaign to notify potential victims.
The intent is reach 95 percent of U.S. adults, with ads in newspapers, movie theaters and on Facebook. Billboards will promote the deadline in four hard-hit states: Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 1/30/2020- 6AM)