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Sackler Family May Have ‘Abused’ Bankruptcy Process, Purdue Pharma Judge Says

  • Judge comments during settlement appeal hearing Tuesday
  • Some state attorneys general are seeking to overturn deal
Purdue Pharma L.P. OxyContin medication.

Purdue Pharma L.P. OxyContin medication.

Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

The members of the billionaire Sackler family that own Purdue Pharma LP may have abused the bankruptcy system by removing billions of dollars from the drugmaker in recent years, a federal judge said in a court Tuesday. 

Near the end of a lengthy hearing on an appeal of Purdue’s opioid settlement, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon said she is considering sending the deal back to bankruptcy court for additional findings on whether members of the family took advantage of the bankruptcy process by removing more than $10 billion from Purdue between 2008 and 2018. The withdrawals left Purdue with less money to fight the opioid lawsuits that drove it to insolvency, she said.