Community Issues

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Opioid-Maker Family

Accuses them of criminal racketeering in marketing company's drugs, leading to national epidemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths

The billionaire family that owns opioid-maker Purdue Pharma LP is facing a second lawsuit accusing them of causing the national opioid crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

The Boston Globe reports the lawsuit includes more than 500 cities and counties, and claims the Sackler family's actions amount to racketeering in their marketing of the drug OxyContin.

"This nation is facing an unprecedented opioid addiction epidemic that was initiated and perpetuated by the Sackler defendants for their own financial gain," lawyers for the plaintiffs said in a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The Sacklers "are responsible for addiction, overdose, and death that damaged millions of lives." Baldwin County, AL v. Richard Sackler

According to the Globe, the suit claims the family told employees to tell doctors the company's painkillers weren't addictive -- even though the company knew the dangers-- and "pushed to increase sales despite the devastating consequences of the public health crisis."

Purdue Pharma countered with an e-mailed statement: "This complaint is part of a continuing effort by contingency-fee counsel to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis in the United States, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system."

"These baseless allegations place blame where it does not belong." Sackler family statement

The Sackler family has been under fire recently after a lawsuit brought by the state of Massachusetts was unsealed, making the company's OxyContin marketing efforts public.

Purdue Pharma also faces other lawsuits, including one filed by more than 30 states against them and other drug makers. In that lawsuit, the states are trying to recoup the billions of dollars that have been spent on dealing with the opioid crisis, which according to the Globe, kills 100 Americans every day.

The Morning Call reports that Pennsylvania is one of a minority of states that has not yet sued drug makers over the opioid crisis, although State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is investigating .

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