The State of Connecticut is bringing a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma LP, Purdue Pharma Inc. and several current and former members of the Stamford company’s management and board of directors, charging them with providing deliberately incorrect information to doctors and patients on the risks related to the company’s opioid products OxyContin, Hysingla and Butrans.
In announcing the lawsuit, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen noted that 1,038 people died of accidental drug overdoses in 2017, with most of the deaths linked to opioid-related overdoses. He added that the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is projecting that 1,030 more people will die of overdoses this year.
Jepsen said the company “peddled a series of falsehoods” in its claims on the safety of opioid usage and profited from the crisis that has impacted both the state and the nation.
Jepsen, who also serves in the leadership of a multi-state coalition of attorneys general investigating opioid manufacturers and distributors, added that Purdue Pharma “has not demonstrated to me that it is serious about addressing the states’ very real allegations of misconduct and coming to a meaningful settlement. It is my hope that, in filing this lawsuit at this time, Connecticut can assist in the collective effort to hold this company and responsible individuals accountable.”
The lawsuit, which is among Jepsen’s final acts as Attorney General before the expiration of his term at the end of this month, will be filed in Superior Court in Hartford and accuses the company and its leadership of four counts of violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, forfeiture of ill-gotten profits and restitution, as well as permanent injunctive and other relief.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by states and municipalities against the Stamford drugmaker over the past several months.