PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Purdue Pharma – the creators of the painkiller OxyContin. Shapiro alleges certain members of the Sackler family are personally liable for the opioid epidemic.
The lawsuit alleges they directed, controlled, and participated in a “deadly campaign of deception.”
“The Sackler family seems to be concerned with only one thing – keeping their hands on the ill-gotten gains they made while pumping our Commonwealth full of OxyContin,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Through our negotiations with Purdue Pharma, it became crystal clear the Sacklers have no intention of taking any ownership for engineering an epidemic that claims the lives of 12 Pennsylvanians each day. They shamelessly came into our Commonwealth and preyed on senior citizens, veterans, and those suffering from substance use disorder.”
On behalf of the people of PA, I’ve filed suit against the Sackler family.
These billionaires pumped opioids into all the PA doctor’s offices, pharmacies, & medicine cabinets they could.
They engineered an epidemic.
It’s time they take some responsibility.
— AG Josh Shapiro (@PAAttorneyGen) September 12, 2019
Shapiro filed a separate lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in May 2019, accusing the company of a multi-faceted, illegal effort to market OxyContin in Pennsylvania.
On Wednesday, a tentative settlement was announced over the role Purdue Pharma played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis. Shapiro said it is “a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one.”
Their proposed "settlement" is a slap in the face to every person who has buried a loved one due to the Sackler family’s destruction & greed.
The foundation of their entire business model depended upon the deterioration of American families + communities. This isn't over.
— AG Josh Shapiro (@PAAttorneyGen) September 11, 2019
More than 20 states have also filed lawsuits against members of the Sackler family. Several have said they intend to continue those cases.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)