City of Tacoma Opioid Litigation

City of Tacoma v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al.
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Case No. 3:17-cv-05737 

Case Overview

Keller Rohrback L.L.P., on behalf of the City of Tacoma, filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, three of the biggest manufacturers of prescription opioids in the United States. The suit was filed to hold the drug manufacturers accountable for providing false and misleading information to doctors and patients about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioid medicine over approximately the last 20 years.

The complaint alleges that the drug manufacturers “made and continue to make false and misleading statements about the benefits and risks of opioids, and did so through a well-funded marketing and advertising scheme to doctors, patients, and the public—including to doctors and patients in the City of Tacoma—despite knowing that there was little to no evidence to support their claims.”

As a result of this sophisticated and deceptive marketing scheme, and the hundreds of millions of prescription opioids that these drug manufacturers have disseminated into the marketplace, the United States is currently experiencing an epidemic that has been referred to as “the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history”—the misuse, abuse and over-prescription of opioids.

The complaint further alleges that the drug manufacturers violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) and are also liable for creating a public nuisance and being negligent under Washington law.

Case Status

Keller Rohrback’s Complaint was filed on September 13, 2017, in the Western District of Washington, Tacoma Division. In November 2017, the Joint Panel on Multi-District Litigation met in order to review whether all of the opioid cases filed in courts around the country should be consolidated and sent to a single federal court. The Panel decided to consolidate all of the cases and to send the consolidated case—now referred to as an MDL (Multi-District Litigation)—to the Northern District of Ohio. The case will now be heard by the Honorable Dan A. Polster. You can read a copy of that order here, and follow KR on social media and this website to learn more about the case as it progresses.

Case Documents

Complaint – 09/13/2017

JPML Transfer Order – 12/05/2017