OxyContin drugmaker seeks to dismiss city’s lawsuit

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The manufacturer of the powerful painkiller OxyContin on Tuesday asked a judge to dismiss a novel lawsuit by a city seeking to hold the company financially responsible for a raging opioid epidemic sparked by illicit trafficking.

In a motion filed in federal court in Seattle, attorneys for Purdue Pharma wrote that the suit by Everett, Wash., suffered from “multiple, independent legal failings” — including statute of limitations problems and a failure to demonstrate a close connection between the company’s conduct and the criminal acts of drug dealers and addicts.

“[T]here is no basis in law for a municipality to bring such an action against a pharmaceutical manufacturer,” Purdue’s lawyers wrote.

Everett, a blue-collar city of 100,000 people on Puget Sound, filed the first-of-its-kind lawsuit in January, prompted by a Times investigation of the company’s internal security team.


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