Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced Wednesday the state is suing owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, for their role in the nationwide opioids crisis, joining other states in legal action.
Herring said in a statement that the Sackler family made billions because of the opioids crisis and the state is entitled to damages from it.
"For decades, the Sackler family has made a fortune from the sales of drugs that they knew were dangerous, deadly, and addictive," Herring said. "While the Sackler family has lived a life of unimaginable wealth and comfort, families across Virginia and around the country have been devastated by an opioid crisis that was fueled by lies and deceit by Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers."
He also said the family "siphoned billions from the company" to make sure they could keep their profits despite the repercussions from lawsuits.
"The Sackler Family must be held accountable for their role in the heartbreak and loss of life they and their company and products have caused," Herring continued.
Purdue Pharma has been in negotiations with 10 state attorneys general in hope of working out what has been described as a mega-settlement that would pay $10 billion and bankrupt the company.
The proposed plan calls for the Sackler family, ranked the 19th richest in the country, to surrender ownership and pay $3 billion for the settlement.
On Monday, the Delaware Justice Department announced it was suing the Sackler family for their role in the opioid epidemic, which the state said has cost billions.