Purdue Pharma, maker of popular painkiller, OxyContin, recently settled a lawsuit for $24 million after losing a long legal battle to keep its records and testimony away from the public eye. The lawsuit claims the company is guilty of fraud, conspiracy, and negligence in the development and marketing of the drug. Even though a judge has granted the prosecutor’s request to unseal the documents, the order will not actually take effect for 32 days, which allows Purdue time to appeal. The company has typically used protective orders as a way to keep the public ignorant of documents and other materials used as evidence in lawsuit cases. They argue that, because these documents contain highly confidential information about internal business operations, the general public has no right to see them. The testimony of former company owner and president, Richard Sackler, is among the sealed documents to be made public. Sackler was directly involved with the development and marketing of the drug in the 1980s and 1990s, and had met with top company executives to discuss how to respond to widespread overdose and abuse concerns. Apparently, he had tried to place the blame on insurance companies, claiming fraud on their part, saying that they were using overdose and addiction as an ‘excuse’ not to pay the bills; But a recent investigation has found that the drug’s design creates high risk of addiction. OxyContin is marketed as a drug that is supposed to last 12 hours, yet in many patients, it wears off earlier, exposing them to symptoms of narcotic withdrawal comparable to heroin. Prosecution for the lawsuit is calling the ruling a ‘vindication’ for the many American families who have lost loved ones to overdose or addiction. “We’re seeing a whole generation of people introduced to opiates by OxyContin, and we’re still seeing the after effects of it,” they said in a statement. “We’ve lost a whole generation of people here, frankly.”
If you or a loved one have suffered personal injury or wrongful death due to OxyContin use, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.