“It’s not unprecedented, but it is highly controversial,” said Adam J. Levitin, a bankruptcy law professor at Georgetown University Law Center. “It’s not even clear that the bankruptcy court has jurisdiction,” as the Sacklers themselves are not involved in the bankruptcy.
Judge Drain has long urged negotiators to work quickly as there is no money to flow to applicants until the bankruptcy process is complete.
According to the plan, the restored, as-yet-undisclosed company would fund about half a dozen trusts, including separate ones for tribes, adults and children. Proceeds from the sale of the nonprofit company’s reverse drug overdose and moderate amounts of OxyContin would continue to be pumped into these trusts.
But more than 100,000 individual claimants, including relatives of people who have died from prescription overdoses, would receive relatively modest compensation, ranging from $ 3,000 to $ 48,000 apiece – before the lawyers’ fees and expenses are deducted.
In fact, it spends more than half a billion dollars in fees and costs incurred by plaintiffs’ public and private attorneys.
Monitoring the new trusts will also be expensive. The distribution of trust is incredibly complex, said Lindsey Simon, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia School of Law who followed the case closely. “In my view, the biggest question is how much money is being eaten up managing all of these trusts,” she said.
Scott Bickford, an attorney who represents individuals, families, and babies who showed symptoms of withdrawal from medication they were exposed to while in the womb, noted that the current proposal allocated $ 60 million to programs to help these children.