States are alleging that Purdue Pharma LP enriched the Sackler family with $13 billion while the opioid crisis destroyed America, and they are opposing efforts to end lawsuits that would hold them accountable.
According to court documents, a company adviser testified in a deposition that between $12 billion and $13 billion was transferred to the family from Purdue Pharma. The corporation is now claiming bankruptcy to avoid complicity in the opioid crisis they helped create.
Attorney generals from 24 states and the District of Columbia are demanding that the Sacklers pony up more than the $3 billion they have offered to pay in order to remedy lawsuits filed against Purdue Pharma. The corporation requested in September for the dismissal of 2,600 lawsuits filed against the Big Pharma giant seeking damages for pushing Oxycontin onto unsuspecting patients.
Another court filing shows that attorneys representing 500 cities, counties and Indian tribes are also objecting to Purdue Pharma’s request, as the opioid maker tries to wiggle out of accountability for the national crisis that has their fingerprints all over it.
“The distribution numbers do not reflect the fact that many billions of dollars from that amount were paid in taxes and reinvested in businesses that will be sold as part of the proposed settlement,” said Daniel S. Connolly, a Sackler lawyer, in a statement.
The various lawsuits contend that Purdue Pharma is responsible for the deaths of nearly 400,000 people over the last two decades by deliberately misrepresenting the risk in order to proliferate their addictive drugs.
“The Sacklers are billionaires, they are not bankrupt,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said to Reuters. “They should not be allowed to use the filing to shield their assets.”
Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, claiming that it was necessary to deal with the cost of litigation as the chickens come home to roost for years of the corporate giant pushing opioids on the masses.
“Without a stay of the litigation, only lawyers will win,” the company claimed in a public statement.
In addition, the Sacklers had paid off elite universities throughout the world to allegedly peddle false science that helped boost their obscene opioid profits.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Prestigious universities around the world have accepted at least $60 million over the past five years from the family that owns the maker of OxyContin, even as the company became embroiled in lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic, financial records show.
Some of the donations arrived before recent lawsuits blaming Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis. But at least nine schools accepted gifts in 2018 or later, when states and counties across the country began efforts to hold members of the family accountable for Purdue’s actions. The largest gifts in that span went to Imperial College London, the University of Sussex and Yale University.
Major beneficiaries of Sackler family foundations also included the University of Oxford in England and Rockefeller, Cornell and Columbia universities in New York, according to tax and charity records reviewed by The Associated Press.
In total, at least two dozen universities have received gifts from the family since 2013, ranging from $25,000 to more than $10 million, the records show.
Healey hopes to use the power of the states to force the Sackler family to pay many more billions than they they have offered, and set a strong example against corporate drug-pushing that will prevent the heinous practice in the future.
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