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Tong praises Supreme Court for Purdue Pharma bankruptcy decision

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Office of Connecticut Attorney General William Tong

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has commended the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that the Sackler family — who own Purdue Pharma in Stamford — can’t use the drug company’s bankruptcy to settle opioid lawsuits.

The high court’s decision is a rebuke of the attempt by the Sackler family to abuse the U.S. bankruptcy code, according to Tong.

“The U.S. Supreme Court got it right — billionaire wrongdoers should not be allowed to shield blood money in bankruptcy court,” he said.

Connecticut, eight other states and the U.S. Department of Justice had challenged the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy order.

Tong argued that it allowed the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to shield the family’s wealth from a $4.3 billion settlement to states, municipalities and plaintiffs who had sued the OxyContin manufacturer.

“In practical terms, this sends us back to bankruptcy court, where I expect we will re-enter mediation,” he said.

In 2021, a lower federal court vacated the bankruptcy court’s order, clearing the way for Connecticut and the other dissenting states to reach a $6 billion settlement with the Sacklers and Purdue.

As part of that settlement, Connecticut did not participate in the appeal to the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.