Everett considering lawsuit against OxyContin manufacturer

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EVERETT, Wash. — The city of Everett is considering a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the powerful painkiller OxyContin.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson is asking the City Council on Wednesday to support a civil lawsuit against Purdue Pharma. He says the drug manufacturer needs to be held accountable for a surge in overdose deaths in the community and others problems.

The Daily Herald says the case would argue that Purdue Pharma was negligent when it aggressively marketed the drug as less addictive than other pain medication while ignoring evidence that the painkillers were diverted to illegal drug traffickers.

In 2007, Purdue Pharma and its executives paid more than $630 million in legal penalties for willfully misrepresenting the drug’s addiction risks.

The Connecticut-based company said in an email Wednesday that it shares public officials’ concerns about the opioid crisis and is committed to working collaboratively to find solutions. It noted it was the first to develop an opioid medication with properties that deter abuse.