Maloney, DeSaulnier, Warren, and Blumenthal Applaud U.S. Trustee Appeal of Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Plan
Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, senior Committee Member Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal issued the following statement regarding the decision by the U.S. Trustee (UST), a component of the Department of Justice (DOJ) responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases, to appeal the confirmation of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Trustee is heeding our call on the Department of Justice to appeal the confirmation of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan, which grants sweeping legal protection to the Sackler family for their role in fueling an opioid crisis that has claimed more than half a million American lives. The Sacklers were granted these extraordinary legal releases over the objection of numerous state attorneys general and in violation of the due process rights of thousands of people. These releases are illegal and unconstitutional, and they must not stand.
“Congress must pass our legislation to prohibit the abuse of nondebtor releases and stop powerful bad actors, like the Sacklers, from abusing our Bankruptcy Code to evade accountability. It is imperative that we act to prevent future miscarriages of justice.”
On July 28, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney joined Sen. Warren, Sen. Dick Durbin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Blumenthal, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in announcing the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act of 2021. The Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act of 2021 expands on Chairwoman Maloney and Rep. DeSaulnier’s SACKLER Act to prevent individuals who have not filed for bankruptcy from obtaining releases from lawsuits brought by private parties, states, Tribes, municipalities, or the U.S. government in bankruptcy.
On August 6, 2021, Sen. Warren, Sen. Blumenthal, Chairwoman Maloney, and Rep. DeSaulnier sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that DOJ immediately appeal Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan on the grounds that it would release the Sacklers from individual accountability and deny victims and state attorneys general the opportunity to litigate their cases.