WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today his office filed a Bill of Complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court against Purdue Pharma ("Purdue"), the manufacturer of the prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin, and eight members of the Sackler family who have owned and controlled the company as current or former members of Purdue’s Board of Directors.
"This is an urgent situation requiring the type of expeditious resolution that only the Supreme Court can provide," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "The clarity of the high court’s ruling and the authority to enforce the judgment throughout the country and internationally will be the most effective path to addressing an issue of this magnitude."
The State’s brief alleges the Sacklers funneled billions of dollars away from Purdue in recent years when they were aware that the company was facing massive financial liabilities from litigation. The Sacklers and Purdue are alleged to have violated fraudulent transfer laws, which allow courts to unwind transfers of funds that may hinder or defraud creditors.
“It is unconscionable that companies responsible for fueling this crisis might escape paying restitution to victims by transferring billions of dollars made on opioid sales to company owners and then possibly filing for bankruptcy,” Brnovich added. “Those responsible for the opioid crisis must be held accountable and the Sacklers’ pilfering of Purdue’s assets must be remedied."
Attorney General Brnovich filed the Bill of Complaint under Article III of the United States Constitution, which grants the Supreme Court jurisdiction to decide cases “between a state and citizens of another state.” Brnovich is asking the Court to hear the case because the opioid crisis has reached the level of national importance.
If the Supreme Court were to unwind the transfers from Purdue to the Sacklers, all of Purdue’s potential claimants, including other states that have sued the company, would likely benefit from the funds.
In addition to Purdue, the State’s brief names Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Jonathan Sackler, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, and several domestic and international holding companies owned by the Sacklers.
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.
A copy of Arizona Attorney General Brnovich’s Supreme Court filing against the Sacklers.