Virginia Joins Growing Number of States Suing the Sacklers

Sep 11, 2019


family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses leave pill bottles in protest outside the headquarters of Purdue Pharma, which is owned by the Sackler family, in Stamford, Conn.
Credit Jessica Hill / AP Photo - File


Virginia’s Attorney General announced Wednesday that the state is suing members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma, for their personal roles in the opioid crisis.



Between 2008 and 2017 Purdue Pharma made almost $20 billion selling opioids in Virginia. In that same time, thousands of Virginians overdosed and died. 

Attorney General Mark Herring says members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue, knew how harmful the drugs were and yet they still pushed them and profited from them. 

“They lived, and are today living, a life of unimaginable wealth and comfort," Herring said. "Meanwhile families across Virginia and around the country have been devastated by an opioid crisis that was fueled by their lies and their deceit.” 

In its amended lawsuit, Virginia also alleges that as cases against Purdue began to build up the family transferred billions of dollars out of the company’s assets and into their own personal accounts.  Virginia claims it was an effort to make sure the money wouldn’t be part of a court settlement, or be awarded as damages, to alleged victims. 



 This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.