Danbury Connecticut 6/12/18
Today, Ventura Law along with their co-counsel, Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ansonia, Danbury, Derby and Norwalk against opioids manufacturers, distributors, and a former executive in Connecticut Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that for decades, the manufacturers aggressively marketed to health care providers and reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioids like OxyContin, despite knowing the drugs were not safe or effective for long-term use. The lawsuit further alleges that the manufacturers engaged in fraudulent misrepresentations regarding the risks and benefits of prescription opioids and the distributors failed to comply with their obligations under state and federal law. This, the lawsuit claims, fueled Connecticut’s opioid epidemic, particularly in the Ansonia, Danbury, Derby and Norwalk communities.
“Fraudulent marketing on behalf of opioid manufacturers is one of the central causes of a nationwide addiction crisis,” said Gerard Stranch, managing partner of Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings. “These companies have aggressively promoted prescription opioids as less likely than other pain medications to cause abuse, addiction, tolerance and withdrawal, and they have done so over a period of decades. The marketing of OxyContin has led to criminal charges for Purdue, as well as citation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for false or misleading advertisements in violation of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Despite this, manufacturers have continued to market opioids in a deceptive manner, willfully ignoring the devastating effect their actions bear on communities throughout the U.S.”
“We are immensely proud to take a stand on behalf of the Cities of Ansonia, Danbury, Derby and Norwalk,” said Kelly A. Fitzpatrick, partner at Ventura Law. “Our firm is based here in Connecticut and many of us are Connecticut natives. As such, we have witnessed first-hand the calamitous impact of the opioid crisis on our friends, families and neighbors in our communities. We look forward to holding these companies accountable for creating and intensifying one of the worst public health crises in United States history.”
The lawsuit also includes claims that the drug companies violated Connecticut’s consumer protection statutes and created a public nuisance by disseminating false and misleading statements about the risks and benefits of opioids. Some of the false marketing tactics deployed by these companies included branded and unbranded advertising, misrepresentations by sales representatives and the use of front groups and key opinion leaders to deliver information which downplayed the risks and inflated the benefits of prescription opioids. This behavior proliferated the prescription of opioids and drove the opioid epidemic that the Cities of Ansonia, Danbury, Derby and Norwalk are currently facing.