HARTFORD – A Hartford Superior Court judge has thrown out the lawsuits filed by the cities of New Britain, Bristol and other municipalities seeking monetary relief from Purdue Pharma and other drug companies for the cost of dealing with the opioid crisis.
In his ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Thomas Moukawsher determined that cities such as New Britain and Bristol had no standing to sue the drug companies, leading to the dismissal of all the cases.
New Britain, Bristol, and several other municipalities filed lawsuits against Purdue and other drug companies, claiming the alleged misleading marketing tactics they used led to residents becoming addicted to opioids. The cities are spending money dealing with policing and other costs associated with dealing with overdoses and criminal behavior due to addiction, the lawsuits contend.
Moukawsher ruled that the cities suing were seeking monetary gain to recoup the cost of the social ills brought on by drug addiction and have no special authority to sue. The state and federal government have the authority to sue, but municipalities do not, Moukawsher said.
The cities were suing 25 drug companies including Purdue Pharma. Under the law, Moukawsher determined that cities are in the same class as any other person who is considered impacted indirectly by a relative’s drug use, leaving them with no claim.
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