Wallingford Town Council to hear update tonight on opioid lawsuit

Wallingford Town Council to hear update tonight on opioid lawsuit

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WALLINGFORD — The Town Council is slated to discuss an update on the town's opioid lawsuit at tonight’s meeting.

Janis M. Small, town corporation counsel, said Tuesday that outside counsel is coming from New York to give an overview of the town’s lawsuit against several drug companies, and of lawsuits filed nationwide by other municipalities and states.

The lawsuits claim that drug manufacturers, including Stamford-based Purdue Pharma, contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Purdue manufactures Oxycontin, a powerful prescription painkiller that has gained a reputation as one of the more commonly abused opioid drugs.

Purdue filed for bankruptcy in September, days after reaching a multi-billion dollar settlement with more than 2,000 plaintiffs in the company’s ongoing lawsuits with state and local governments.

Where that leaves Wallingford’s case, which was granted a stay in February after Purdue’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss, is to be the topic of discussion tonight.

Wallingford filed its lawsuit in April 2018, naming some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies as defendants, including Purdue and Johnson & Johnson.

Other defendants include international drug companies Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Endo Health Solutions Inc. The lawsuit also names one individual, John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, which manufactures an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray.

The lawsuit claims that the drug manufacturers and distributors contributed to the opioid epidemic by "intentionally, recklessly, and negligently (marketing) their opioid products through materially false and misleading statements," according to court documents.

Councilors are slated to hear the update and then meet in executive session to discuss an item specific to Wallingford’s case. Small said the council is not likely to take any action on the item.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Town Hall council chambers.

Twitter: @LCTakores