Courtesy of P.A.I.N.

Nan Goldin Urges Activists to Join Thursday Rally Against Sackler Settlement Offer

Photographer Nan Goldin and the advocacy group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) are preparing to hold a rally tomorrow in protest of the terms of an agreement that would potentially settle thousands of cases against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma over its role in the opioid crisis.

According to the New York Times, shortly after the pharmaceutical giant, which is owned by the Sacklers—one of America’s wealthiest families and major patrons of the arts—filed for bankruptcy in September, its lawyers declared that the Sacklers may withdraw the $3 billion they pledged to pay as part of the nationwide settlement if a bankruptcy court doesn’t block two dozen state lawsuits.

Due to the bankruptcy filing, the majority of the more than 2,600 legal complaints against Purdue have been put on hold. However, suits brought by states are often allowed to continue. In a filing on Wednesday, September 18, Purdue asked the court to delay legal action pursued by the states by 270 days. If the United States Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, rules against blocking the suits, the filing states that the company will spend roughly $5 million a week fighting the legislation, which will ultimately “destroy hundreds of millions of dollars or more of value available for all claimants and for the public.”

The move may destabilize the tentative agreement, which has been approved by twenty-three states—originally twenty-four states signed off, but Arizona announced on Monday that it no longer supported the deal. With Arizona, as of October 9, twenty-five states oppose the agreement. Judge Robert D. Drain is expected to rule on whether the states’ cases will be stayed on Friday.

In an attempt to pressure the court and the attorneys general representing the states in favor of the deal, Goldin and P.A.I.N. will be outside of the courthouse, which is located at 300 Quarropas Street, on Thursday, October 10, to protest the latest developments in the case and are calling for people to join them.

Because of recent reports revealing that the Sacklers have allegedly transferred more than $13 billion from Purdue, P.A.I.N. has declared that the proposed $3 billion payout is not enough. The group is also demanding that the Sackler money be directed toward harm reduction treatments and family relief funds. “We stand by the attorneys general who are continuing to fight to claw back the personal wealth of this family,” P.A.I.N. said in a statement. “One family has profited off the bodies of 400,000 Americans and destroyed families and communities across the country––they deserve justice.”