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OxyContin maker asks court to dismiss Everett lawsuit

EVERETT, Wash. – The manufacturer of the pain medication OxyContin is asking a federal judge to dismiss the City of Everett’s lawsuit seeking to hold it accountable for damages from the illegal trafficking of its painkiller.

Everett, a city of about 108,000 north of Seattle, sued Purdue Pharma in January, alleging the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and into the city and did nothing to stop it.

A lawyer for Purdue Pharma, Patrick Fitzgerald, told U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez Monday the case should be tossed for a number of reasons. Among them, he argued that there’s no direct link between the company’s conduct and the harms at issue.

The City of Tacoma last week also filed a lawsuit against several opioid manufacturers.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the city said it should be allowed to make its case at trial. Chris Huck told the judge that Purdue knowingly put their painkillers into a supply chain they knew ended at an organized drug ring, and the city has suffered for it.

Martinez called the case an interesting one with some novel legal issues.