OxyContin making company Purdue Pharma LP got court approval Tuesday to reimburse millions of dollars in legal fees for states that support its proposed $10 billion settlement of opioid lawsuits, but with a situation meant to help victims of the addiction crisis.
Purdue had advised Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain at Tuesday’s hearing in White Plains, New York that paying the charges for seven firms that work on behalf of states and local governments would assist bring structure to its Chapter 11 case and resolve it shortly.
Drain said he wanted compensation of the fees for four law firms, a monetary adviser, and two economic consultants conditioned on both parties reaching an agreement on the quick release of emergency funds for victims.
Purdue proposed a $200 million emergency fund in October that could be spent shortly on addiction treatment, whereas the parties resolve the entire bankruptcy case; a course of that may take many months. Purdue has stated the money has been tied up by disagreements among states, local authorities, and other events over how to use the funds.
Scott Bickford, who represents guardians of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, urged Drain to decline the reimbursement request.
Purdue filed for bankruptcy two months ago in the face of thousands of claims alleging it helped kindle the opioid crisis by playing down the addiction risks of its painkillers, which Purdue has refused.
The corporate entered bankruptcy with a framework settlement it has stated worth $10 billion, backed by about two dozen states and the local governments that filed the bulk of the complaints.