Maloney, DeSaulnier Introduce SACKLER Act to Prevent Bad Actors from Evading Responsibility Through Bankruptcy Proceedings
Washington, D.C. (Mar. 19, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee of Oversight and Reform, and senior Committee Member Rep. Mark DeSaulnier introduced the Stop Shielding Assets from Corporate Known Liability by Eliminating Non-Debtor Releases (SACKLER) Act, to ensure that individuals accused of wrongdoing by government actors are held accountable for their crimes and unable to evade responsibility through bankruptcy proceedings. They issued the following statement:
“By ensuring that individuals cannot use bankruptcy court to evade responsibility for their misconduct, the SACKLER Act would hold members of the Sackler family accountable for their significant role in fueling an opioid crisis that has claimed nearly half a million lives.
“The Committee has released documents showing that members of the Sackler family pushed Purdue to flood the market with OxyContin and made billions as a result. This bill is one more step to addressing the harm the Sacklers have inflicted on our communities and providing justice for the thousands of families who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic.”
The SACKLER Act closes a loophole in bankruptcy law by preventing individuals who have not filed for bankruptcy, like members of the Sackler family, from obtaining releases from lawsuits brought by states, Tribes, municipalities, or the U.S. government in bankruptcy.
Facing thousands of lawsuits from state and local governments, and Tribes over its sales and marketing of opioids, Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in September 2019.
Members of the Sackler family, who were also named individually in numerous lawsuits, did not file for personal bankruptcy but have asked the bankruptcy court to provide them with the same protections that Purdue Pharma received. As a result, all litigation against individual members of the Sackler family froze, denying justice for the thousands of families who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic.
The Sackler family is worth an estimated $10.8 Billion.
Since 1999, nearly 450,000 people in the United States have lost their lives to the opioid epidemic.
Click here to read the SACKLER Act.
Click here to read the one-pager.