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  /  News   /  Clark Gregg criticizes bankruptcy laws after opioid settlement reversal

Clark Gregg criticizes bankruptcy laws after opioid settlement reversal

(NewsNation) — Actor Clark Gregg, who portrayed Arthur Sackler in the Netflix series “Painkiller,” criticized bankruptcy laws that allow wealthy individuals to avoid responsibility for their actions following the Supreme Court’s reversal of a $6 billion opioid settlement.

“It seems odd to me … that someone if they have enough money, can do things like … which is to pay doctors to say these medications were not as addictive as they are,” Gregg said Saturday on “NewsNation Now.” “I have experienced in the recovery community … the devastation, the loss of life as a result of these drugs. And I don’t think those people should be able to use the bankruptcy laws to escape.”

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision overturned a settlement that would have provided immunity from future prosecution for the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, in exchange for billions in payouts to victims of OxyContin.

The Bankruptcy Code only allows immunity for third parties like the Sacklers if all creditors sign off, the high court ruled, siding with the Biden administration and a relatively small group who objected. 

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The Marvel star, who is in recovery himself, emphasized the importance of destigmatizing addiction and treating it as a social and mental health issue. He advocated for making it easier for people to seek help “without shame or stigma.”

According to CDC data, there were 81,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2023, accounting for 75% of all drug overdose fatalities in the United States.

Gregg urged viewers to watch “Painkiller,” describing it as a series that “attacks it from a number of different perspectives” and explores the drama within the Sackler family as they pursued wealth at the expense of public health.