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Pennsylvania to sue Sackler family for opioid epidemic

September 13, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

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The state’s Attorney General announced Thursday a new lawsuit has been filed against the owners and founder behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the announcement led a local drug addiction advocate to laud the move.

Josh Shapiro alleges in the new suit, which his office said is under seal, that certain members of the Sackler family, owners and founders of Purdue Pharma, are liable for the damage created by the waves of opioid addiction taking places nationally and in Western Pennsylvania. In May, Shapiro filed a lawsuit against the company Purdue Pharma where he made similar accusations of illegal efforts to sell the drug. In a news release on Thursday, Shapiro said the new lawsuit is a direct result of the original one. Shapiro’s suit joins thousands of similar ones that have been filed by nearly every state along with cities, counties, Native American tribes and others.

“It’s about time that someone faces consequences,” Jason Beckwith, a Butler resident and certified recovery specialist, said. Beckwith said his addiction with opioids began in 1999 after a doctor prescribed him OxyContin for an injury.

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