A new legislative proposal from Congressional Democrats is seeking to limit liability releases sought by Sackler family members in lawsuits over OxyContin. The bill specifies that bankruptcy judges cannot release legal claims brought by states, tribes, municipalities or the U.S. government against a bankrupt company’s owners, like the Sacklers, or its directors, officers or other third parties with ties to a chapter 11 case. Although the legislation would directly impact the Sacklers, it is also intended to put an end to a controversial practice that has resulted in "some large corporate bankruptcies, company owners like the Sacklers or corporate directors and officers obtaining the benefits of a chapter 11 without filing for bankruptcy themselves," according to Professor Ralph Brubaker.
“It’s a misnomer to call this a settlement when you are forcing people to take it whether they wish to or not,” Professor Brubaker said regarding the proposed bankruptcy settlement with the Sacklers.
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