New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma, the distributor of OxyContin. The lawsuit also names the companies that are responsible for distributing large amounts of prescription painkillers that fueled the rising abuse epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the United States.
As per The Hill, James’ office released a statement on the lawsuit and addressed the family and distributors for their role in the rising opioid epidemic.
“We found that pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors engaged in years of deceptive marketing about the risks of opioids and failed to exercise their basic duty to report suspicious behavior, leading to the crisis we are living with today.”
“As the Sackler Family and the other defendants grew richer, New Yorkers’ health grew poorer and our state was left to foot the bill. The manufacturers and distributors of opioids are to blame for this crisis and it is past time they take responsibility,” she added.
As per The New York Times, the lawsuit names eight Sacklers: Richard, Jonathan, Mortimer, Kathe, David, Beverly, and Theresa Sackler, as well as Ilene Sackler Lefcourt. It is one of numerous suits that targets the Sacklers. As The Inquisitr reported, these eight individuals were also named in a lawsuit filed by a conglomerate of over 500 cities, counties, and Native American tribes across 26 states.
The Sackler family made billions off of OxyContin.— VICE News (@vicenews) March 28, 2019
New York is coming for that money https://t.co/U6HlyIOpTK
In a statement, the Sackler family “strongly” denied the allegations in the lawsuit, and claim that they are not consistent with facts. The statement also suggests that the lawsuits were filed for the purpose of publicity; not a genuine attempt to address the opioid crisis.
The Sacklers are one of the richest families in the U.S. and have come under scrutiny for their role in the rise of the country’s opioid epidemic. In particular, new documents reveal that some family members engaged in misleading marketing efforts for OxyContin, mislead doctors and patients, and ignored evidence of the drug’s abuse.
The New York State lawsuit asks for compensation for the state’s cost stemming from unnecessary prescriptions and related health care expenses, as well as financial penalties. In addition, the lawsuit seeks to recover funds that were reportedly moved from Purdue Pharma to offshore or private accounts in the name of Sackler family members. The transfers were allegedly conducted to protect the money from litigation.
Finally, the lawsuit asks the Sacklers to return transferred assets and prevent them from destroying any of their property.