David Sackler to Testify in Purdue Pharma’s Bankruptcy Trial

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A member of the billionaire Sackler family that owns Purdue Pharma LP will likely take the stand later this week in bankruptcy court as part of the drugmaker’s opioid settlement trial.

David Sackler, a descendant of Raymond Sackler, provided a sworn, written statement to the bankruptcy court about the sweeping releases he and other family members will receive if Purdue’s bankruptcy judge approves its proposed settlement. He’ll be made available for live questioning sometime this week, lawyers confirmed during the drugmaker’s Chapter 11 proceedings on Monday. The exact timing wasn’t immediately disclosed.

The testimony will be the first time any member of the Sackler family has appeared live in front of Purdue’s bankruptcy judge. David Sackler testified at a House Oversight Committee meeting in December, denying claims that his family improperly shifted billions of dollars from sales of the controversial opioid-based painkiller OxyContin to offshore accounts

Purdue is in the midst of a multi-week trial over its proposed settlement of trillions of dollars in legal liabilities. The deal, which the company says is worth more than $10 billion in total, would see members of the Sackler family pay about $4.3 billion in exchange for broad protection from OxyContin lawsuits. Some critics of Purdue’s bankruptcy argue that the Chapter 11 proceedings have allowed the drugmaker’s owners to avoid accountability for their role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

The proceedings are taking place remotely due to Covid-19 protocols, and Sackler would testify by videoconference. Members of the public can listen in by telephone.

The bankruptcy case is Purdue Pharma LP, 19-23649, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (White Plains).

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