OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma hit with five more state lawsuits

May 16, 2019

STAMFORD — Five more states announced Thursday that they were suing OxyContin Purdue Pharma and co-owner and former company president Richard Sackler, the latest round of pressure to a company that already faced more than 1,000 lawsuits for allegedly fueling the opioid crisis with deceptive marketing of its pain drugs.

The attorneys general of Iowa, Maryland, West Virginia and Wisconsin are filing the lawsuits, which come two days after Pennsylvania filed a similar complaint. In total, about 40 states, including Connecticut, have sued the company.

“Purdue Pharma is responsible for a public health crisis that has profoundly affected patients, their families, our communities and our health care system,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said in a statement. “The company and its executives were recklessly indifferent to the impact of their actions, despite ever-mounting evidence that their deceptions were resulting in an epidemic of addiction and death.”

In a statement, Purdue denied the allegations.

“These complaints are part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,” the statement said, in part. “The states cannot link the conduct alleged to the harm described, and so they have invented stunningly overbroad legal theories, which if adopted by courts, will undermine the bedrock legal principle of causation.”