FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy, in Montpelier, Vt. The wealthy family who owns the company that makes OxyContin says Massachusetts got the facts wrong in a lawsuit. Legal papers made public Tuesday, April 2, 2019, represent the first time the Sackler family, who owns the Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, has responded in court to allegations about its role in the opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Family behind OxyContin calls opioid suit false, misleading

April 02, 2019 - 3:13 pm

BOSTON (AP) — The family that owns the company that makes OxyContin is calling a Massachusetts lawsuit false and misleading in its first court response to allegations that individual family members helped fuel the deadly opioid epidemic.

In legal papers made public Tuesday, attorneys for the Sackler family say the claims against the family must be dismissed.

Massachusetts was among the first governments to sue the family as well as the company last year, but that number is growing.

The state had said one family member, Richard Sackler, promised at a 1996 launch event that OxyContin would have "a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition."

In the legal papers, the family says that was a joke about the severe weather that delayed his arrival at the event.

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