Massachusetts Attorney General files massive lawsuit against Perdue Pharmaceuticals over misleading claims to doctors on opioids

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sued Purdue Pharmaceuticals for deceiving Massachusetts doctors and profiting millions from opioid sales in the state, according to the lawsuit.  The suit calls for “full and complete restitution” for all damages caused by sales of their drugs.  The suit asserts that Perdue violated the state’s consumer protection act by making misleading claims to doctors about their drugs’ effects and creating a public nuisance, and names 16 Purdue board members and executives.

Healey said her investigation showed 670 people who had prescriptions from Purdue died of overdoses, but did not say if those overdoses came directly from Purdue products. The lawsuit calls for Purdue to pay “full and complete restitution to every person who has suffered any ascertainable loss” because of Purdue and contains a federal estimate that each overdose death costs $9.6 million — for a total of $6 billion for 670 deaths. But Healey said she has not put a number on the damages she’s seeking.

At the press conference, Gov. Charlie Baker said he supported the suit as a way to “put these people where they belong, which is in a courtroom, in deposition and a process that will force them to own up to decisions they made and the wreckage they left behind.”