Beth Macy

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John L. Brownlee Character Analysis

John L. Brownlee is a former paratrooper turned prosecutor in his mid-30s who hopes to make a name for himself by taking difficult cases against Purdue Pharma and OxyContin. He and his office’s fraud investigator, Gregg Wood, keep detailed files of Purdue’s misdeeds in order to build a case against the company. Despite many initial failures, he is ultimately able to get a plea deal out of Purdue in 2007. Though many activists believe the punishment for Purdue is too lenient, the case still represents the first significant win against the company.

John L. Brownlee Quotes in Dopesick

The Dopesick quotes below are all either spoken by John L. Brownlee or refer to John L. Brownlee. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Chapter 3 Quotes

In the fall of 2006, Purdue’s lawyers began to sense that this case against them was different; that a full-court press meant nothing when the opposing counsel was the United States of America. Was it really possible the small-town lawyers had compiled enough evidence to indict both the company and its top executives on a host of felony charges, not just for misbranding the drug but also for mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering? It seemed so, according to a memo written by the federal prosecutors to Brownlee at the time.

Related Characters: John L. Brownlee
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
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John L. Brownlee Character Timeline in Dopesick

The timeline below shows where the character John L. Brownlee appears in Dopesick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
Back in western Virginia, John L. Brownlee is a 36-year-old former paratrooper, now an attorney who likes to make a splash in... (full context)
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
The Value of Science Theme Icon
Brownlee (along with his office’s fraud investigator, Gregg Wood), keep in communication with Van Zee and... (full context)
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
Despite the 2005 loss in McCauley’s court case, Brownlee continues to stock ammunition against Purdue. Later in 2005, news breaks that a federal grand... (full context)
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
...lawyers sense that things may be beginning to change. A memo from federal prosecutors to Brownlee suggests there may be enough evidence to prosecute Purdue with felony charges. But Purdue is... (full context)
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
...boldest move comes in October 2006: they get a senior Justice Department officer to call Brownlee at home and pressure him to give Purdue more time for a plea agreement. Brownlee... (full context)
Fighting the Medical Establishment Theme Icon
In May 2007, Brownlee unveils news of the settlement: Purdue has pleaded guilty to falsely advertising the benefits of... (full context)