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The California Attorney General announced that California is suing Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc., certain of its affiliates, and Dr. Richard S. Sackler, former President and board member of Purdue, for unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. The 56 page complaint was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 3.

In addition to the lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Maine each filed individual suits against Purdue the same day.

These states join more than 40 others, including hard-hit Ohio and West Virginia, and about 2,000 local and tribal governments, that have already filed lawsuits against Purdue for fueling the opioid epidemic.

However, these newest states seem to be way behind the litigation curve, as other states have been in litigation for years, and one is currently in one of the first trials.

Oklahoma was the first state to announce major settlements this year, and kicked off the first trial in May against remaining defendants. In March, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, agreed to a $270 million settlement with the state.

And then Teva announced an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis. Trial is currently in progress against a remaining defendant Johnson & Johnson.

The California lawsuit alleges that Purdue’s illegal and misleading marketing and sales practices played a major role in contributing to the nationwide opioid crisis. It further alleges that Purdue created a public nuisance through its marketing and sale of opioids and misled healthcare professionals and patients about the addictive nature of opioids and their potential for abuse and diversion.

What is missing from the California suit are the other traditional defendants. Most other suits include other opioid manufacturers such as Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, among others,

Also missing from the California litigation are distributors – including Amerisource Bergen, McKesson Corp., and Cardinal Health (known as the “Big Three”) – who allegedly distributed more than 80 percent of the opioids at issue and failed to monitor, investigate, refuse, or report suspicious orders of prescription opioids, flooding states with the drugs.