The city’s lawsuit is among several against the maker of OxyContin. The council vote allows the mayor and general counsel to vote in favor of restructuring the bankruptcy.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo City Council on Tuesday agreed to let the city’s mayor and legal director accept the opioid settlement money from Purdue Pharma for the impact the opioid crisis has had on Toledo.
Council members voted unanimously to allow Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and City Manager Dale Emch to vote in favor of the plan.
Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 following several lawsuits against the company, including one from the city of Toledo. A group that represented the plaintiffs as well as certain attorneys general and creditors worked out a bankruptcy plan for reorganization with representatives of Purdue Pharma.
Toledo city spokesman Ignazio Messina said the city voted in favor of the reorganization plan. Votes are due Wednesday.
“Ultimately it will be in bankruptcy court. We don’t know how much money the city will receive because there are many variables in the formula at this point,” Messina said in a statement Tuesday.
The city of Toledo signed the One Ohio MoU last year which provides for a statewide distribution formula designed to address the opioid crisis and its impact on the community of Toledo and state communities. It is expected that the money from the plan, if approved by bankruptcy court, will go through the One Ohio process, according to the wording of the city council order.
Earlier this month, Purdue Pharma’s plan to reorganize into a new entity received a big boost as 15 states that had previously opposed the new business model ended up expressing support, reported the ‘Associated Press.
The agreement of several state attorneys general, including those who most aggressively opposed Purdue’s initial settlement proposal, was disclosed on July 7 in a file filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in White. Plains, NY. It followed weeks of intense mediations that resulted in changes to Purdue’s initial exit. plan.
The new settlement terms call on Purdue to release tens of millions of internal documents to the public, a move several attorneys general, including those in Massachusetts and New York, had demanded as a way to hold the company accountable.
The attorneys general of both states were among those who agreed to the new plan, joining about half of the states that had already approved it.
Some of the attorneys general who signed noted that their states are prepared to get more money faster to fund drug treatment and prevention.
But they continued to express their anger at the business and in particular the members of the wealthy Sackler family who own the business and did not accept any blame. “No one is happy with the settlement,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said. “Can the Sacklers do more?” Hell yeah, they can do a lot better, but it should start with an apology first.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein noted on July 8 that the deal includes about $ 1.5 billion more than it initially did.
In a statement, members of the Sackler family called support from more states “an important step towards providing substantial resources to people and communities in need.”
The opioid crisis includes overdoses involving prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. The Purdue bankruptcy case is the most high-profile case in a complicated national litigation against drugmakers, distribution companies and pharmacies.
With just nine states and the District of Columbia remaining opposed to the plan, the federal bankruptcy judge is more likely to uphold the deal.
Yet nine states and the District of Columbia have not signed. One of the holdouts, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, complained, “This settlement plan allows the Sacklers to step down as billionaires with a lifelong legal shield.