While state and local governments will allocate billions from the Sacklers and Purdue to treatment and prevention programs, individual victims would get far less if the current draft — or an approximation — of the Purdue bankruptcy and settlement plan were adopted. They can claim compensation from a fund of up to $750 million and could collect amounts ranging from $3,500 to $48,000.
Parents and guardians of approximately 6,550 children with a history of neonatal abstinence syndrome can each receive approximately $7,000. Many have to prove that OxyContin was directly involved — a high bar given the passage of time and the difficulty of finding records.
The hearing with the Sacklers emerged from the most recent round of negotiations between the Sacklers, eight states and Washington, DC, who, along with New Hampshire, voted against Purdue Pharma’s latest bankruptcy plan. The latest terms include an increased contribution of up to $6 billion from the Sacklers. Though significant hurdles to completing the deal are looming, a condition demanded by a judge mediating the talks was met Thursday: people deeply affected by the opioid epidemic finally had their day in court.
One of the latest to make a statement was Vicki Bishop, speaking of her firstborn child, Brian, a construction worker who was prescribed OxyContin after an accident at work.
She concluded with a plea: “Tonight, as you, Richard, David and Theresa, lay your heads on your pillows and close your eyes to sleep, will you see my son Brian and envision the opioid dependent life he led at the age of Died at the age of 45 at a cold steel table in the Baltimore County Coroner’s Office, blue, alone, and of a fatal drug overdose.
“I want you to consider your personal role in this,” she said. “Because that’s what I see every night when I close my eyes and try to find the sleep that rarely comes.”