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Attorney General William Tong



On April 22, Connecticut Filed Expanded, Amended Lawsuit Against Purdue Pharma

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today released Connecticut's unredacted complaint against Purdue Pharma, revealing previously undisclosed shocking and offensive emails from Purdue's former director Richard Sackler.

In these emails from 2001, Richard Sackler blames victims of the opioid epidemic, expressing callous disregard for their pain and suffering. The unredacted complaint also sheds new light on Purdue's actions in Connecticut to push its deadly opioids, and financial arrangements by the Sacklers to avoid personal liability through hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent transfers.

"Richard Sackler's outrageous comments show an utter disregard for human life. These emails are far more than a momentary lapse in judgment between friends—they encapsulate the depraved indifference to human suffering that infected Purdue's entire business model. Purdue and defendant members of the Sackler family knew people were dying, but they continued to push their opioids in blind pursuit of profit. Purdue and the Sacklers must be held accountable," said Attorney General Tong.

Previously undisclosed emails include a 2001 email from an acquaintance of Richard Sackler in which the acquaintance states: "Abusers die, well that is the choice they made, I doubt a single one didn’t know of the risks." Richard Sackler responds: "Abusers aren’t victims; they are the victimizers."

Also in 2001, Richard Sackler corresponded with the same acquaintance. The acquaintance wrote: "You know what the general ignorant public will say, do away with the drug!! Blame the manufactures (sic), Drs., pharmacist, but NEVER NEVER THE CRIMINAL, HE/SHE, (to be politically correct) is never to blame. Give me a break, lest I THROW UP! The whole thing is a sham and if people die because they abuse it then good riddance." Richard Sackler responds: "Unfortunately, when I’m ambushed by 60 Minutes, I can’t easily get this concept across. Calling drug addicts 'scum of the earth' will guarantee that I become the poster child for liberals who want to do just want (sic) to distribute the blame to someone else, as you say."

On April 22, Connecticut filed an expanded, amended lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, members of the Sackler family, former members of Purdue's Board of Directors and corporate executives, and Sackler-controlled companies alleging fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers to evade liability and accountability to Connecticut victims of the opioid epidemic.

The amended complaint alleged new details of the deadly ground game Purdue deployed in Connecticut to push its dangerously addictive opioids, and takes direct aim at Purdue's recent threats of bankruptcy. The lawsuit seeks to claw back funds transferred from Purdue to the Sacklers, as well as a court order to prevent any further transfer of funds.

Parts of that complaint were initially redacted pursuant to an order issued by a federal judge requiring that the information be kept confidential unless the producing party agrees that the information can be disclosed. Connecticut has since obtained an agreement to release those communications.

Special Counsel for Opioids Kimberly Massicotte, Assistant Attorneys General Jeremy Pearlman, Eleanor Mullin, Ann-Marie DeGraffenreidt, John Wright, Alma Nunley, and Paralegal Specialists Lynn Rioux and Cheryl Turner, and Administrative Assistant Melissa Gordon assisted the Attorney General with this matter.

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