The Arizona Attorney General’d Office is urging the United States Supreme Court to take up the State’s case against Purdue Pharma and eight members of the Sackler family who owned and controlled the company, which manufactures of the prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin.
The Attorney General’s Office argues that the opioid crisis is an unprecedented public-health epidemic. A national resolution from SCOTUS is needed to require the Sackler family to return the assets that were allegedly fraudulently transferred. A ruling by SCOTUS will save years of litigation and appeals and the Court’s judgment will be respected internationally.
The State alleges the Sackler family funneled billions of dollars away from Purdue Pharma after they became aware the company was facing massive financial liabilities for their alleged role in the opioid crisis. In order to effectively and expeditiously recover the alleged illegal transfer of funds, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed an original Bill of Complaint with SCOTUS against Purdue and members of the Sackler family earlier this year. The State’s July 31st filing came before Purdue filed for bankruptcy.
In today’s filing, Arizona asserts that SCOTUS has original jurisdiction in this critical case. Article III of the Constitution states “the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction” over “[c]ontroversies … between a State and Citizens of another State,” U.S. Const., Article III, §2. Further, Arizona argues that it is crucial SCOTUS address an important separation of powers principle, that neither Congress or an inferior bankruptcy court can alter or abrogate SCOTUS’s original jurisdiction.