Supreme Court halts settlement protecting Sacklers from opioid lawsuits

Originally published at: Supreme Court halts settlement protecting Sacklers from opioid lawsuits | Boing Boing


So may we thereby intuit that the Sacklers weren’t forthcoming with various “vacation” offerings for the usual Supreme court suspects?


No doubt this is one of those things that needs a lot of legal splaining and probably isn’t quite what it sounds like in headline form.

Still, it’s interesting that this Supreme Court would hand down any ruling billionaires don’t like. It’s making me wonder how the right-wing corruption network would sanction justices who turned on their patrons. You can’t blackmail them, and you can’t assassinate them without a Republican president in place. I suppose they’d have to target family members.


It’s rare that an entire family deserves generational, Biblical condemnation, but these goddamn fuckers should have their genome outlawed. Fuck them in perpetuity everywhere, may they never know a moment of peace.


Until the heat death of the universe and beyond.



This raises a question… Those billions they almost got away with would have benefited their kids, their kids’ kids, and so on. But now that they got found out and lost, should the opposite of all that privilege and wealth also be handed down through many generations?

If the answer is No, then it seems to follow that any gain should also not be imparted on future generations. I’m not talking about just the Slacklers, but all inter-generational wealth. Nepobabies and such.


Money that could have been used by the company to more aggressively market OxyContin around the world. Will no one think of the adbuys that were lost? Ultimately these sorts of aggressive dividends deprive the individual stockholders of their hard earned investments

The cashflows are described in this article.

How the Sacklers Shifted $10.8 Billion of Their Opioid Fortune Bloomberg Businessweek


I’d go further. Proton decay.


That… or the conservative justices offered this up to throw off the liberal Congresspeople coming after their heads.


Conservatives love to gripe about estate taxes (the so-called “Death Tax”) but personally I never saw the upside of a permanent noble class coasting for centuries on the triumphs of some long dead ancestor. We fought a whole Revolution to get away from that kind of thing.


I do not know legal stuff well, but it strikes me as odd that a bankruptcy court and lawyers could give away someone else’s right to sue (for a bunch of somebodies, no less). How does that work?


I wonder if there were enough billionaires who lost family members to oxy addiction so that the Sackler’s money wasn’t enough.


Interesting idea. Rich kids with way too much pocket money have a tendency to experiment with drugs. Sounds like a plausible explanation.

Woah! The point of Biblical condemnation was to wish plague, leprosy, etc unto the offender’s children and their children’s children, who were utterly innocent of the thing that the bible, sometimes incorrectly, regarded as a crime. I’ve got no problem with wishing leprosy on the members of the three generations of the Sackler family who apparently knowingly suppressed evidence of the addictive nature of oxycotin, but I don’t think we can justify it for their future descendants.

Australia abandoned death duties many decades ago because it seemed the rich had no trouble avoiding them while they caused all sorts of difficulties for everyone else.

These days owning your own home is a luxury, but early last century in Australia home ownership was the norm. If someone bequeathed their house to their spouse, who subsequently bequeathed it to their children, it got hit with 2 rounds of death duties. So some people would bequeath the house directly to the children, with the expectation the children would let the surviving spouse continue to live there. Some children would let the surviving spouse continue to live in the house rent free, which could lead to accusations of tax avoidance, resulting in penalties of tax on a reasonable rent that should should have been charged. Others would charge punitive rent or evict the surviving spouse and sell the house.

Consumption taxes on luxury items (polo ponies, race horses, private jets, jewellery containing gold, silver or diamonds, etc) may be more effective than death taxes. But I fear any such discussion is academic, because the rich will block their implementation by buying off the politicians. One of the biggest tax rorts in Australia involves family trusts, and that’s a rort that politicians on both sides of the house are exploiting themselves.


Not likely. The very rich spend a relatively small portion of their net worth on “stuff” compared to most people. The bulk of their wealth isn’t in jewelry and horses and fancy houses, it’s in stocks and investment funds that act as multigenerational money-printing machines.

If you want to do away with a permanent ruling class you have to reign in the mechanisms of intergenerational wealth.


appellate decision

district court opinion (which contains a lot of the “factual record”)


The whole point of a bankruptcy court is to eliminate the liabilities of the bankrupt party aside from whatever assets get liquidated and anything that specially cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

The irregularity here is trying to double-dip when it comes to the separation between corporations and their owners: this is Purdue’s bankruptcy, not that of any of the Sacklers; but they are trying to get their slate wiped clean as though it were their bankruptcy; but without the whole all-their-assets-being-taken-by-creditors step.


i think there are ways of doing it without an estate tax.

a luxury tax. a financial transaction tax ( where every stock trade is taxed. ) a wealth tax. a significant capital gains tax. probably others.

that said, yeah: a strong estate tax that specifically excludes single family homes and privately held farms under a certain size would help. we might have to reform business structures too though. families pass property through llcs and other incorporations - so currently it seems mainly about who can hire the best lawyers… the sacklers as the ready example


They gripe, not because the have to pay it (hint: they don’t pay it) but because it is such a drag, darling, having to pay those grubby accountants to set up weird schemes so I don’t pay it


You might if you were a member of that permanent noble class.


I’m not against finding ways to get the rich to pay their fair share, and agree that when the US economy was really booming the rich’s “fair share” was a lot higher then it is now.

I’m not sure a financial transaction tax is a good idea though. Assuming it is distinct from a capital gains tax and taxes you based on the size of the transaction not the amount of profit it makes. It would distort financial markets and make them much slower to react to change. So a company could “go to crap” and the market wouldn’t respond unless the amount of crap is larger then the drag provided by the transaction tax. I think it would increase volatility. Small changes would be damped down but any large changes seem like they would be amp’d up.

Figuring out a way to make a wealth tax work and not be too easy to game seems like a better idea…

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