Arizona, New York, and New Jersey Sue Sackler Family Over Opioid Epidemic

Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix, AZ

New York State’s Attorney General filed a civil suit accusing members of the Sackler family, owners of the privately-held Purdue Pharma, of personally contributing to the opioid crisis, which in the last two decades has killed more than 200,000 Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Purdue Pharma produces the opioid painkiller OxyContin.

New York’s suit details how the Sacklers pushed to increase the sale and consumption of the addictive opioid medications year after year, reaping massive profits, despite the mounting evidence that the drugs posed a deadly risk.

New York state officials claim the family funneled billions of dollars out of its coffers into an intricate network of trusts, subsidiaries, and private off-shore accounts.

The family is accused of illegally transferring funds from Purdue to personal trusts “… so that they are potentially outside the reach of law enforcement and our efforts to seek restitution.”

New Jersey’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against members of the Sackler family, alleging that the eight defendants, despite knowing the highly addictive nature of the product, adopted highly deceptive marketing practices, encouraged reckless prescriptions and targeted multiple patient populations.

Arizona has filed a lawsuit against the Sackler family in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court order the family to return billions of dollars, the suit claims that the family transferred billions of dollars out of their company, in order to avoid paying potential judgements, over its possible role in the epidemic.

Arizona claims that it brought the action because it has evidence that the Sacklers, Purdue, and the other Defendants were parties in recent years to massive cash transfers, totaling billions of dollars, at a time when Purdue faced enormous exposure for its role in fueling the opioids crisis. These transfers allegedly threaten the ability of Purdue to satisfy any relief the State may obtain in its pending proceeding against Purdue.

Arizona authorities are accusing the Sacklers of violating fraudulent transfer laws, alleging that the fund transfers were made as the family knew it was facing legal action against its role in the opioid crisis, and requesting a court order that the money is returned.

The New York Times reports that in talks which have gone on for more than a year, plaintiffs – cities, counties, and tribes as well as states – originally wanted $6 billion. The Sacklers are now offering to pay $3 billion over seven years, plus an additional $1.5 billion, the second payment would depend on the eventual sale of Mundipharma, another company the Sacklers own, netting at least $4.5 billion, after taxes, which is not a certainty. The family wants to have that sale finance their payout.

For more information about the lawsuit against the Sacklers family, contact a personal injury attorney Phoenix, AZ relies on. Call the office of Paul Englander, PLC today.