WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked a nationwide settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma that would shield members of the Sackler family who own the company from civil lawsuits over the toll of opioids.
In addition, the high court will hear arguments before the end of the year over whether the settlement can proceed.
The deal would allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a different entity, with its profits used to fight the opioid epidemic.
Members of the Sackler family would contribute up to $6 billion.
But a key component of the agreement would shield family members, who are not seeking bankruptcy protection as individuals, from lawsuits.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, represented by the Justice Department, opposes releasing the Sackler family from legal liability.
The justices directed the parties to address whether bankruptcy law authorizes a blanket shield from lawsuits filed by all opioid victims. »