Charlie Buttrey

August 2, 2019

Everyone knows that this country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic (according to the CDC, there were 16,849 opioid-related deaths in 1999; in 2018, that number was 70,237), and that Big Pharma (and, in particular, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, which pocketed billions of dollars in profits from oxycontin while concealing its addictive qualities) has played a big role in the problem.  Many states have brought law suits against Purdue (and its owners, the Sackler family) in various courts throughout the country (Oklahoma recently reached an out-of-court settlement to the tune of $270 million).

Arizona is going straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Using a provision in the constitution that permits the Supreme Court to serve as a trial court in lawsuits brought by states, the State of Arizona has filed suit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals (and various members of the Sackler family), directly in the Supreme Court, alleging that the opioid crisis has cost the United States economy more than $78 billion annually, while enriching Purdue by more than $30 billion (of which over $4 billion went directly to members of the Sackler family).

I suspect that the Supreme Court will decline to accept the case, but it’s worth a shot.

 

© 2019 Charlie Buttrey Law by Nomad Communications