Supreme Court could hear first case over the opioid epidemic, thanks to an unusual suit brought by Arizona

The Supreme Court could for the first time take a case that strikes at the heart of the American opioid epidemic, thanks to an unusual lawsuit brought by the state of Arizona against members of the Sackler family and their pharmaceutical business Purdue Pharma.

In a petition filed with the justices this week, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich alleged that the family behind the OxyContin maker unlawfully transferred billions of dollars over the last decade out of Purdue to enrich themselves and avoid having to pay up for the company’s role in fueling the drug crisis.

“As lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny continued to mount, the Sacklers recognized the dangers Purdue was facing,” Brnovich wrote. “Despite these massive potential liabilities, the Sacklers regularly depleted Purdue of its assets.”