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File #: 1263-2021    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 7/9/2021 In control: Criminal Justice & Judiciary Committee
On agenda: 7/12/2021 Final action: 7/15/2021
Title: To accept the recommendation of and to authorize and direct the Special Counsel, through the City Attorney, to vote to approve the Bankruptcy Settlement pertaining to the Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization of Purdue Pharma L.P. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Case No. 19-23649; to authorize the City Attorney to take all steps necessary to resolve these matters in accordance with the terms of the Bankruptcy Settlement; to authorize the City Attorney to settle any remaining future claims arising out of IN RE: NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION OPIATE LITIGATION in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, MDL Case No. 1:17-md-02804-DAP; and to declare an emergency.
Explanation

Purdue Pharma, the company which developed and aggressively marketed Oxycontin, a powerful and addictive opioid painkiller, filed for bankruptcy in September 2019 after being named as a defendant in thousands of civil lawsuits, including one filed by the City of Columbus, seeking damages for asserted opioid-related injuries. There is now a plan that seeks to resolve the bankruptcy cases by settlement.

That settlement is now before the bankruptcy court for final confirmation. As part of the process, all creditors who filed a “proof of claim” against the bankruptcy estate are being asked to vote on the proposed restructuring plan that emerged from the settlement negotiations. The City of Columbus filed such a proof of claim and, as such, is now being asked to vote on the proposed Bankruptcy Settlement.

In 2017, the City of Columbus, through the Office of the City Attorney, obtained outside special counsel to represent the City in what would become the Multi-District Opiate Litigation (“the MDL”) - IN RE: NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION OPIATE LITIGATION in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, MDL Case No. 1:17-md-02804-DAP. Purdue Pharma’s Bankruptcy is a direct outgrowth of the response to this filed litigation and the reason for the City having filed a proof of claim in that Bankruptcy action. Special Counsel is now recommending that the City vote in favor of the Bankruptcy Settlement which, if accepted, will ultimately lead to a resolution of claims against Purdue Pharma with approximately 4.35% of the total settlement to inure to the State of Ohio to then be divided among the municipalities, including the City of Columbus. Further, it is anticipated that more such settlements may be occurring in a similar manner by virtue of declarations of bankruptcy or through the normal course of the MDL, necessitating flexibility in settlement procedures.

Title

To accept the recommendation of and to authorize and direct the Specia...

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