PHILADELPHIA & ALLEGHENY COUNTY (January 27, 2022) – Following is a joint statement from Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., and Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner on ongoing litigation against multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical giants responsible for igniting the addiction and overdose crisis:
“As chief prosecutors of the two largest counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania — ground zero for the addiction and overdose crises in the United States – we will continue to pursue accountability and meaningful compensation from the multi-billion-dollar defendants that have settled with the Pennsylvania Attorney General: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. These corporate giants helped ignite and exacerbate the addiction and overdose crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives, broken scores of families, and effectively taken hostage whole neighborhoods in our respective jurisdictions.
“Allegheny County and Philadelphia deserve deep, sustained compensation in the form of billions of dollars from these companies, which regularly exploit all manner of corporate loopholes while refusing to take any real responsibility for the devastation they have unleashed in communities. Our offices are not alone in the fight for consequential accountability from Big Opioids, either: states including Alabama, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Washington, and West Virginia are also refusing to settle for anything less than what their residents deserve.
“More than 100,000 Americans are dying preventable deaths annually from drug overdoses. Just about every block in our counties has been touched by this crisis. An Allegheny County judge should decide how much is owed by these corporate giants. A Philadelphia judge should decide how much is owed to Philadelphia residents, and local service providers and harm reduction specialists should help decide how those dollars are spent to begin repairing the decades of harm done to Kensington and all affected communities.
“Our oath as prosecutors requires us to pursue justice in these matters until they are resolved by the courts.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.