What opioid victims told the Sacklers when they got the chance

Cheryl Juaire speaks to reporters after making a statement during a hearing in New York, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A virtual hearing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court gave survivors of opioid addiction and people who lost loved ones to the crisis what they have long desired - the chance to confront members of the family behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma. They blamed the Sackler family members for helping fuel the epidemic through marketing of Purdue's signature painkiller OxyContin and for failing to take responsibility for their role.

Three Sackler family members attended the hearing: Richard, Theresa and David Sackler. Under court rules, they could not respond and had to sit silently while roughly two dozen people gave emotional statements.

Richard Sackler appeared only via audio; he is the former Purdue president and board chair who has said the company and family bear no responsibility for the opioid crisis. He also is a son of Raymond Sackler, one of the three brothers who in the 1950s bought the company that became Purdue Pharma.