USA: Court dismisses lawsuit against drug firms sued by states for opioid crisis

Author: New York Times, Published on: 14 January 2019

"Judge Dismisses Opioid Crisis Lawsuits Against Drugmakers", 9 Jan. 2019

A Connecticut judge has dismissed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and two dozen other drug companies brought by 37 cities and towns in the state, which blame them for the opioid crisis and seek to recoup millions of dollars spent on emergency response and other services.

[The]…court ruled…that the lawsuits were not allowed because they were not government enforcement actions, such as those filed under consumer protection and public health laws. Instead, the judge said the lawsuits were filed as "ordinary civil cases" seeking money damages for the "indirect harm" from the opioid crisis…

Lawyers for several cities and towns said they were still reviewing the judge's ruling…and appeals are being considered… 

The ruling is believed to be the first to dismiss government lawsuits in recent rounds of litigation against opioid manufacturers. Last month, a federal judge in Ohio overseeing more than 1,400 lawsuits against drugmakers by local governments and other groups rejected requests by the companies to dismiss the claims…

Like other drugmakers, Purdue Pharma has denied allegations in lawsuits that it used deceptive marketing to boost sales of its opioid painkiller, deceiving patients and doctors about the risks of opioids. Manufacturers are being blamed for helping fuel addiction and opioid overdose deaths...

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Related companies: Purdue Pharma