First Nations Governments Oppose Purdue Canada Settlement with Provinces


The Canadian provinces have settled opioid claims against Purdue Canada for $150 million. However, this settlement contains provisions that compromise the claims of First Nations, who have also sued Purdue over the opioid epidemic. As creditors, we opposed the settlement in court.

Provinces Obtained Unfair Priority Interest

The provinces negotiated a priority security interest in Purdue assets as part of the deal. This means the provinces will collect first from any Purdue Canada liquidation or sale proceeds before other unsecured creditors, including First Nations.

Settlement Unjustly Compromises First Nations Claims

Granting provinces priority access to Purdue Canada assets directly undermines First Nations lawsuits seeking damages for opioid harms. This preferential treatment is unacceptable when First Nations have their own class action underway.

Lack of Disclosure and Transparency

Purdue failed to adequately disclose to the court that its assets were already pledged to a US reorganization plan. The company provided no proof it can pay all creditors or that anything will remain for lower priority claims after the provinces collect.

Purdue Canada Failed to File Any Affidavit

Despite a duty of full disclosure, Purdue Canada submitted no affidavits detailing assets or insolvency risks. It evaded scrutiny of the settlement’s impact on other Canadian creditors.

First Nations Appeal to British Columbia Court of Appeal

After court approval of the settlement an appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal was filed.  You can read the the appeal here,

Provinces May Circumvent the Court

The Provinces assert that the settlement agreement with Purdue allows the Provinces to settle and collect from Prudue even if the B.C. Court of Appeal does not approve of the settlement.  This would be a bold statment by the Provinces and Canada that they are willing to put their interests ahead of the First Nations.

Calls for Fair and Equitable Resolution

First Nations demand the provinces renegotiate this settlement in good faith with all opioid victims. All Canadian creditors should receive fair and equitable compensation, not just governments. First Nations will continue our fight for justice.

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