WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a reply brief today urging the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) to take up the State’s case against Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin, and eight members of the Sackler family who owned and controlled the company.
The State alleges the Sackler family funneled billions of dollars away from Purdue Pharma after they became aware the company was facing massive financial liabilities for their alleged role in the opioid crisis. In order to effectively and expeditiously recover the alleged illegal transfer of funds, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed an original Bill of Complaint with SCOTUS against Purdue and members of the Sackler family earlier this year. The State’s July 31st filing came before Purdue filed for bankruptcy.
In today’s filing, Arizona asserts that SCOTUS has original jurisdiction in this critical case. Article III of the Constitution states “the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction” over “[c]ontroversies … between a State and Citizens of another State,” U.S. Const., Article III, §2. Further, Arizona argues that it is crucial SCOTUS address an important separation of powers principle, that neither Congress or an inferior bankruptcy court can alter or abrogate SCOTUS’s original jurisdiction.
“Behind all of the numbers and statistics, there are real people whose lives have been lost or devastated,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We must make every effort within the law to reach an expeditious resolution in this case so that our communities can take the next steps in addressing this national crisis.”
The opioid crisis is an unprecedented public-health epidemic. A national resolution from SCOTUS is needed to require the Sackler family to return the assets that were allegedly fraudulently transferred. A ruling by SCOTUS will save years of litigation and appeals and the Court’s judgment will be respected internationally.
Civil Division Chief Joseph Sciarrotta and Section Chief Rebecca Eggleston are handling the State’s federal litigation against Purdue and the Sacklers.
The State also is represented by Consovoy McCarthy PLLC and Keller Lenkner LLC.
Copy of Arizona Attorney General Brnovich’s Supreme Court Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint.
Copy of Arizona Attorney General Brnovich’s Supreme Court original filing against the Sackler family.