The U.S. District Court’s decision vacating the settlement reached in Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings threatens not only to upend U.S. bankruptcy law but also to significantly delay —and possibly prevent entirely — billions of dollars from being used to address the opioid crisis. It is a regrettable and tragic outcome that could have been, and hopefully still can be, avoided.
We know how we got here. Before Purdue’s plan of reorganization was even confirmed by the bankruptcy court, it was being decried as a miscarriage of justice by a small number of “holdout” attorneys general and commentators in the media. After confirmation, an even smaller group of Purdue’s creditors — less than one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the company’s stakeholders — appealed and have for now succeeded in halting implementation of the plan.