Arizona Attorney General Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Opioid Case
ARIZONA – According to an online news report posted at wthr.com, the attorney general of Arizona has asked the United States Supreme Court to hear an opioid case against the family that owns Purdue Pharma. Purdue Pharma manufacturers OxyContin, and Arizona is petitioning for the Supreme Court to order the owners to pay back money they allegedly siphoned from the company.*
The filing from Arizona is the first time that the Supreme Court has been asked to make a decision related to the opioid crisis. Opioid deaths have surpassed 400,000 in the United States since 2000, and more than 47,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2017 and 2018. Opioid deaths now outnumber those from car accidents in the country.
Numerous states in the U.S. and about 2,000 local governments and tribes have sued opioid manufacturers, including Purdue, and many of them have also named the Sackler family in their lawsuits. Purdue has indicated it might be filing for bankruptcy in light of the litigation and declining sales, and the suit filed by Arizona’s attorney general reportedly seeks to preserve company assets for payouts to plaintiffs.
Arizona is asking the Supreme Court for an order requiring the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, to return billions of dollars to the company, saying that the family has taken large sums of money from Purdue in the last several years and should not enjoy a windfall while creditors and victims of the opioid crisis are left with nothing.
The attorney general said that the Supreme Court had the authority to decide the issue and stated that the order was necessary to prevent the Sacklers from transferring money into offshore accounts insulated from litigation liabilities. A spokesperson for the Sacklers said the family denied any wrongdoing and that the court filing was not based in fact.
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