NJ Politics Digest: State Goes After Sackler Family in Opioid Suit

New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Office of the Attorney General / Tim Larsen

New Jersey on Thursday joined nearly a dozen other states in filing suit against the family that owns Purdue Pharma for their alleged role in promoting OxyContin and other highly addictive opioid painkillers, thereby helping create the current opioid crisis facing this country.

NJ.com reports that Attorney General Gurbir Grewal accused the Sackler family of building their business and personal fortunes through other people’s addiction.

Named as defendants are former chairman Richard S. Sackler, Jonathan D. Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Mortimer D. A. Sackler, Beverly Sackler, Theresa Sackler and David A. Sackler, the report said.

New Jersey filed suit against Purdue in 2017, but Thursday’s filing in Essex County Superior Court is part of a growing strategy by public officials to hold the Sackler family, as well as other drug companies, accountable for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, and to force them to help combat it.

NJ.com reports that some estimates indicate the Sacklers and Purdue have been sued more than 2,000 times by government entities. In a statement, the Sackler family claims that it has always acted properly and that its members are committed to preventing addiction.

While the attorney general and many others argue that the family is responsible for Purdue aggressively and deceitfully promoting OxyContin and other powerful painkillers, the Sackler statement blamed “illicit fentanyl smuggled in from China and Mexico” for the rapidly growing crisis.

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