Attorney General Patrick Morrisey objected this week to an effort that would limit the time West Virginia and others have to speak out against potential flaws in the reorganization of bankrupt opioid maker Mallinckrodt LLC.
The Attorney General contends the current schedule would provide the state insufficient time to review Mallinckrodt’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy and ensure that any proposed payout factors in the intensity of the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.
Just weeks ago, an objection from the Attorney General revealed publicly that Purdue Pharma’s proposed plan would distribute settlement funds largely based upon a state or local government’s population — not intensity.
“Allocation formulas largely based upon population ignore the devastation wrought by opioid abuse in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our state deserves its fair share of any settlement, and that begins with ensuring our office has sufficient time to review Mallinckrodt’s plan.”
The current plan would give states just 14 calendar days to review, understand and potentially object to what the filing anticipates will be a voluminous and complex set of documents governing the resolution of Mallinckrodt’s claims — among them, the Attorney General’s November 2019 lawsuit.
The Attorney General’s filing describes the 14-day proposal as an extremely short amount of time. Instead, he cites related bankruptcy rules in asking for 28 days.
The November 2019 lawsuit alleges Mallinckrodt contributed to the opioid crisis by individually engaging in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers and misrepresent the risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.
The lawsuit further contends Mallinckrodt mischaracterized and failed to disclose the serious risk of addiction, overstated the benefits of chronic opioid therapy and promoted higher dosage amounts without disclosing inherently greater risks.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit also cites emails alleging Mallinckrodt officials ignored warnings of abuse and trained its sales team to push doctors to prescribe stronger doses of opioids.
This week’s objection was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Read a copy at https://bit.ly/3uMTxeh.