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Everett files lawsuit against painkiller manufacturer

Purdue Pharma has sold more than $27 billion worth of the powerful painkiller OxyContin since its introduction in 1996. (Liz O. Baylen / Tribune News Service file)
Purdue Pharma has sold more than $27 billion worth of the powerful painkiller OxyContin since its introduction in 1996. (Liz O. Baylen / Tribune News Service file)
Associated Press

EVERETT – The city of Everett has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the powerful painkiller OxyContin.

The Daily Herald reported the civil lawsuit against Purdue Pharma was filed Thursday.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said the drug manufacturer needs to be held accountable for a surge in overdose deaths in the community.

The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to move forward with the lawsuit.

The case argues 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 is committed to working collaboratively to find solutions.

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