By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published December 27, 2017
City’s lawsuit against pharma co. swept into national trial
EVERETT — The city’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals was consolidated into a multi-state lawsuit against multiple pharmaceutical companies.
On Dec. 5, a federal judicial panel decided to combine dozens of separate cases, including the city’s, into one large case.
The city had requested exclusion from having the case consolidated. Plaintiffs in other cases opposed also.
The judicial panel decided that the litigation “involves common questions of fact” and decided to consolidate the cases to the Northern District of Ohio as a matter of convenience.
The city will follow the order.
“Pursuant to the Order, the City of Everett, through its outside counsel (Kelley, Goldfarb, Huck, Roth & Riojas, PLLC), will continue to pursue its lawsuit in coordination with the other cases that were transferred to the Northern District of Ohio for pre-trial proceedings,” city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said in an email.
Everett’s lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma of knowingly allowing OxyContin to be funneled into the black market recklessly. The pharmaceutical company has stood that the wholesale middleman suppliers it works with are responsible for having lax drug controls.
In a 2016 newspaper exposé that was a starting point for Everett’s case, the Los Angeles Times reported that Purdue knew about numerous suspicious leaks in the distribution channel into the black market, but stayed silent until the feds intervened.
Everett’s lawsuit was unprecedented. During the year, more than 30 other municipalities and states filed similar cases against pharmaceutical corporations.
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