Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Purdue Pharma Deal Would Deliver Billions, But Individual Payouts Will Be Small

The multibillion-dollar bankruptcy settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family is grounded in an opioid crisis that has injured or killed an untold number of Americans.

But many of the 138,000 individuals who’ve filed claims for a death, expenses tied to their addiction or the birth of a child exposed to opioids during pregnancy expect to receive little if anything from the deal.

For her claim, Lynn Wencus of Wretham, Mass., collected a long, painful thread of receipts for prescriptions, urine tests, doctors visits, detox and rehab stays. Now that paper trail will be converted to points on a chart created during the Purdue Pharma settlement. The points will determine how much her son Jeff’s life was worth. He died after an opioid overdose in 2017.

“There’s no amount of money that would ease the pain or suffering that he went through, that my family went through,” Lynn Wencus says. “But the chart — it’s a spit in the face.”

The maximum award for Jeff Wencus’ death would be between $26,000 and $40,000. It could be 20% higher or lower, depending on the final settlement resolution. None of the amounts touch the more than $125,000 the Wencus family spent on Jeff’s care. And they’ll only get what’s left after attorney and administrative fees as well as outstanding medical claims are paid — so possibly nothing.

“I knew awhile ago that the individual claimants were getting thrown aside in this bankruptcy case,” Wencus says. see the full article


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