Opioids in a bottle. Photo: Video_Creative/Shutterstock.com

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced late Monday that he was filing an expanded and amended lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and individual members of the Sackler family related to the alleged fraudulent transfer of funds. The Sackler family owns the Stamford-based company.

In addition to Purdue Pharma, the 62-page amended lawsuit names 21 individuals or entities, most being members of the Sackler family. The amended complaint alleges that several Sackler-controlled companies fraudulently transferred hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to evade liability and accountability related to the opioid crisis.

Then-Attorney General George Jepsen filed the initial lawsuit in December 2018, alleging the company misled doctors and others on the addictiveness of opioids, such as OxyContin, which Purdue Pharma makes. The initial complaint seeks damages, civil penalties, restitution and permanent injunctive relief. The amended lawsuit adds a fifth count: fraudulent transfer.

“We will not allow Purdue Pharma to cry poverty after illegally transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to members of the Sackler family—unearned funds these individuals reaped as Connecticut families suffered,” a release from Tong’s office read. “They must be held accountable for the resources necessary for long-term recovery and treatment, to stop this devastating epidemic from spreading,”

Late Monday, Perdue Pharma issued a statement saying: “Purdue Pharma and the individual former directors of the company vigorously deny the allegations filed today in Connecticut and will continue to defend themselves against these misleading attacks.”

The statement continues: “The complaint is part of a continuing effort to try these cases through the media rather than the justice system. Such allegations demand clear evidence linking the conduct alleged to the harm described, but we believe the state fails to show such causation to support its sweeping legal claims. Purdue’s OxyContin represents less than 2% of total opioid prescriptions and it is approved by FDA, prescribed by doctors, and dispensed by pharmacists. “

This is a developing story. 

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Connecticut AG Sues Purdue Pharma, Top Leadership Over Opioid Crisis