People harmed by OxyContin have more time to file claims

National News

People injured by the powerful prescription painkiller OxyContin have another 30 days to file legal claims against the manufacturer.

A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday agreed to extend the filing deadline to July 30. Purdue Pharma and some of the governments suing the company requested the extension because the coronavirus pandemic might have prevented some people from making claims by the original deadline.

Some groups wanted a three-month deadline extension, but Judge Robert Drain rejected that, noting that every month of delay means another $700,000 would need to be spent advertising the fact that individuals can file claims. He and some of the attorneys also expressed concern that attorneys fees will erode the company’s value the longer the claims process takes.

By May 28, nearly 8,200 people had filed personal injury claims against Purdue. The company is in the midst of a $22 million campaign to let people know they can file the claims.

Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is going through bankruptcy court as part of its effort to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits from state and local governments. They claim the company had a role in sparking the opioid addiction and overdose crisis, which has killed more than 430,000 Americans since 2000.

A company lawyer said in court Wednesday that Purdue is planning to file a reorganization plan with the court by sometime in the fall. The company has proposed becoming a public trust, with profits going to deal with the opioid crisis.

Under the proposed deal, members of the Sackler family that own Purdue would contribute at least $3 billion in cash over time.

Information about making a claim is at http://www.purduepharmaclaims.com

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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