May 3, 2021 – But a growing group of public officials and activists is mounting a last-ditch effort to derail the plan, describing it in legal briefs as an unethical, and possibly unlawful, use of the bankruptcy court’s power. Late last week, 24 state attorneys general as well as the attorney general for Washington, D.C., filed a new brief describing the proposed settlement as “unprecedented,” “unjust” and “unconfirmable as a matter of law.”

“The bankruptcy system should not be allowed to shield non-bankrupt billionaires,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in an interview with NPR.

“It would set a terrible precedent. If the Sacklers are allowed to use bankruptcy to escape the consequences of their actions, it would be a roadmap for other powerful bad actors.”

State AGs aren’t alone in objecting to the deal. In recent weeks, attorneys representing local and state governments, native tribes and opioid activists filed briefs raising legal and ethical concerns about the plan.

A division of the Justice Department that oversees bankruptcy cases also filed a brief questioning whether the bankruptcy court has the “authority and jurisdiction” to approve such a plan.



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