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Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin — the drug that’s most often top-of-mind in talks about our country’s opioid abuse epidemic — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. The move, which the company says is needed to reorganize, is likely an effort to shirk responsibility for more than 2,600 lawsuits claiming that Purdue knowingly fueled the opioid crisis.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is frequently referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy. In short, an organization that files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy may continue to operate its business but must propose a plan to restructure its debts under the supervision of the bankruptcy court. 

Under Purdue Pharma’s proposal for bankruptcy protection, the Sackler family would give up their ownership of Purdue, sell their Britain-based drug company, Mundipharma, and pay $3 billion to the plaintiffs. States’ opinions were split on whether the settlement was good enough. Now, a judge will need to determine whether the proposal is reasonable and appropriate.

What Settlement Could Mean for Opioid Victims

Those who fell victim to the addictive power of OxyContin deserve maximum financial recovery; and on the other side of that coin, Purdue Pharma deserves to fully answer for its role in our nation’s opioid crisis. Still, there are some important considerations for many of the thousands of plaintiffs who will receive a settlement.

For people who have fallen victim to opioid drugs, addiction can be very dangerous at settlement time. The stress of litigation, followed by anxiety and psychological stress of the case’s conclusion, can force people into difficult mindsets. What’s more is that many settlements in cases such as this end up involving hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, but funds can be depleted fast without forward thinking and informed choices. Working with a professional to develop a durable and individualized settlement plan is of paramount importance for opioid victims. For more information on settlement planning, visit

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