Purdue’s Proposed OxyContin Settlement Highlights Group Lawsuits

Posted by Benjamin R. Zimmermann

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Ben litigates personal injury cases, with an emphasis in the areas of defective products, medical malpractice, construction site accidents, and premises liability. Ben’s case wins have been upheld all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Meet Benjamin

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Purdue Pharmaceuticals faced fines in 2007 for mislabeling OxyContin. Company executives faced criminal charges. In 2019, the company filed for bankruptcy. 

On March 15, 2021, Purdue said they will create a $700 million to $750 million trust to resolve OxyContin-related claims. Opioid-related lawsuits have led to thousands of personal injury claims. Corporations fiercely defend against these lawsuits. 

Instead of making individual claims, Multi-District Litigation or class action suits combine cases. Those with similar injuries caused by the same products can unite. This helps strengthen the claims. 

In class action suits, many people bring one claim as a “class.” The class’s claims are resolved together. In Multi-District Litigation, a central federal court maintains the claims. These cases are resolved separately. 

Many of these cases have headline-grabbing settlements. While they show the cost to the company, they can be misleading. The Purdue proposal, for example, would result in payouts of only $3,500 to $48,000 per case. This is low, considering 115 people die in the U.S. from an opioid overdose every day. More than two million Americans have an opioid-related substance-use disorder. 

SUGARMAN has worked with clients injured by medical and other devices. Claims have been brought against DePuy, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, and Ethicon Inc. Most recent cases include Stryker Orthopedics (relating to defective Stryker LFIT V40 implants), and The 3M Company (relating to Combat Arms Earplugs). Claims like these often involve specialized cases lasting several years. 

When you or someone you love is injured by a defective product or medication, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted regarding potential liability and SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated attorneys who represent those who have been injured. If you have been hurt from the use of a defective product or medication and wish to speak to one of our attorneys regarding liability, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000 or e-mail info@sugarman.com.