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Blumenthal Leads Senators Opposing Purdue Pharma's Request for Employee Bonuses In Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan Amid Ongoing Opioid Epidemic

Under the proposed plan, bonuses to Purdue executives and employees would often be larger than payouts to victims and families

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote Judge Robert D. Drain requesting the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern  District of New York reject Purdue Pharma’s recent motion requesting $34.7 million in employee bonuses, including $5.4 million for its top executives, as part of Purdue’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

In the letter, the senators pointed out that under the proposed plan, approximately 500 bonus-eligible Purdue employees could receive a bonus of up to $67,000, while, “Purdue’s proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan will cap payouts to individual claimants at $48,000, but only in cases where an individual was prescribed OxyContin and died as a direct result. Most victims and their families will receive far less.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 500,000 deaths between 1999 and 2019, and 93,000 deaths in 2020 alone involving opioid and prescription overdoses, of which Purdue greatly contributed to. Even with the company having pled guilty to multiple federal crimes and facing thousands of lawsuits, the company has continued to handsomely reward its top executives.

“It would be contrary to public policy and public health – and a miscarriage of justice – to provide those running an alleged ‘criminal enterprise’ with upwards of $35 million in bonuses, including $5.4 million for top executives,” the senators wrote. “As such, we request the funds currently proposed for executive and employee incentive and retention plans instead be made available to victims, their families, and communities.”

Blumenthal joined Baldwin and several colleagues in a letter to Judge Drain in September of 2020 urging him to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposal to pay President and CEO Craig Landau a bonus of up to $3.5 million.

The full text of today’s letter is available here.