PA Attorney General Sues Sackler Family, Alleging Personal Liability For Opioid Crisis

Sep 12, 2019

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has filed a lawsuit alleging that members of the family that owns drug maker Purdue Pharma are personally liable “for the devastation of the opioid crisis,” according to a press release from his office.

The announcement came one day after the company reached a tentative deal to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging the company fueled the drug addiction crisis. The Sackler family will pay $3 billion over several years and relinquish control of the company, but Shapiro said that’s not enough.

“It is a complete and utter slap in the face to Pennsylvanians, to anyone who has had to bury a loved one,” he told WESA’s The Confluence Thursday morning.

“I think it is important that they be held accountable, that there be transparency in the process, and that Pennsylvanians who are in need of resources to treat the disease of addiction have those resources.”

Shapiro’s office filed a separate lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in May, alleging the company engaged in illegal tactics to market the addictive opioid OxyContin to Pennsylvanians.

Purdue Pharma is one of six pharmaceutical companies being investigated by the attorney general; Shapiro said he is also in talks with several drug distributors.

“While Purdue has gotten so much attention in the media because of their … unlawful conduct, they really become the poster children, if you will, for this crisis,” he said. “Make no mistake, I’m fighting to hold every single one of these companies accountable.”

Purdue Pharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment.