May 21, 2019

Two more states on Tuesday hit Purdue Pharma LP's controlling family with suits over its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, bringing the total number of states that have sued the family over the company's prescription painkillers to 46.

The attorneys general of Vermont and Indiana filed lawsuits in their respective state courts against the Sackler family, claiming the family was well aware of their painkillers' dangers but masterminded a strategy to shift medical and public attitudes toward opioids, increasing sales for the drugs and making the family billions.

The family's goal: "to become unimaginably rich," both Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan and Indiana Attorney General Curtis T. Hill said in their lengthy complaints, more than 200 pages each.

"Purdue designed an array of deceptive messages that reduced concerns about opioids generally, and that promoted Purdue's opioids specifically as safe, effective and appropriate for long-term use and for moderate pain conditions," Donovan said.

Meanwhile, Hill called the Purdue family "a leading force in the prescription opioid market" that "blanketed the country with disinformation about opioids."

"The Sacklers got more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer than ever before," Hill said. "And over the years, the Sacklers distributed billions of dollars earned from the sale of Purdue opioids to themselves and other family members."

. . .

Vermont is represented by Joshua Diamond and Jill S. Abrams of the Vermont Attorney General's Office. [Cohen Milstein also represents Vermont in this matter. – Ed.]

Indiana is represented by Cory C. Voight, Scott L. Barnhart, Corinne Gilchrist and Amanda Jane Gallagher of the Attorney General's Office, Betsy A. Miller, Victoria S. Nugent and Maya Sequeira of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Carolyn G. Anderson, June P. Hoidal, Behdad C. Sadeghi and Ian F. McFarland of Zimmerman Reed LLP.

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