09.21.20

Baldwin Leads Colleagues to Urge Judge to Reject $3.5 Million Bonus for CEO of Bankrupt Purdue Pharma

Executives Involved in Wrongdoing Should Not be Paid Before Families Devastated by the Opioid Company’s Actions, Senators Say

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today led her colleagues in sending a letter to Judge Robert D. Drain, urging him to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposal to pay President and CEO Craig Landau a bonus of up to $3.5 million.

Purdue’s opioid marketing campaign accelerated an opioid epidemic that has claimed an estimated 400,000 lives. The campaign generated $35 billion in revenue for Purdue and likely significant incentive bonus compensation for Mr. Landau for achieving ambitious opioid sales targets. The Senators raise new concerns regarding company practices that took place during Mr. Landau’s tenure, and highlight how the company has continued to promote their opioid products, despite multiple lawsuits and thousands of personal injury claims.

From the letter, the Senators write, “To provide Mr. Landau with this bonus is to endorse the very behavior for which Mr. Landau has been sued by multiple states. These states allege that Mr. Landau is ‘one of the chief architects and beneficiaries of Purdue’s illegal marketing campaign.’ The investigation of Mr. Landau, and the associated litigation, have only been suspended in an effort to adjudicate this bankruptcy. In total, over 122,000 individuals have filed personal injury claims associated with opioid products made by Purdue. Many claims are from people whose lives or those of their family members have been devastated by opioids. Instead of preserving cash to maximize the amount available to these devastated families, Purdue wants to spend millions to ensure their executives stay motivated enough to simply continue doing their jobs. Bonus payments as outlined in Purdue’s proposal should not be made while these families continue to wait for justice.”

The letter was led by Senator Baldwin and signed by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

The full letter is available here