An OxyContin manufacturer that’s the defendant in a Baton Rouge lawsuit filed last year is considering a bankruptcy filing in response to significant potential liabilities it faces from the roughly 2,000 lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States.
The potential move, Reuters reports, shows how Purdue Pharma LP and its wealthy owners are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the drugmaker of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.
Filed in a Baton Rouge federal court last year, the East Baton Rouge Parish lawsuit names five of the largest manufacturers of prescription drugs—including Purdue Pharma—and its related companies as defendants. The companies are accused of misrepresentation, fraud and violating the RICO and Louisiana Products Liability acts to dump millions of dollars of prescription opioids into the community.
Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits, allowing Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, sources told Reuters.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said it was the pharmaceutical industry, not the taxpayer, who should pay for the damages caused by this crisis.