[JURIST] Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against Purdue Pharma and 16 executives Tuesday, marking the first lawsuit of its kind to attempt to hold individuals responsible for the impact of the opioid crisis in the state.
The complaint alleges that Purdue executives were well aware of the dangers that opioid prescriptions carry. Despite those dangers, they allegedly deceived doctors and patients alike by saying that only "untrustworthy" patients would abuse the prescription and face addiction.
In a press release [text] Healey spoke of accountability:
The opioid epidemic is killing five people every day in Massachusetts. Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made, and the more people in Massachusetts suffered and died. These defendants must be held accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our state and claimed so many lives.In 2007 Purdue pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and promised to never deceive doctors again. Since 2009, 671 people in Massachusetts who filled Purdue prescriptions died of an opioid related overdose.
Numerous other lawsuits [JURIST news archive] have been filed against opioid manufacturers in recent months.