In May 2014, the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, along with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, filed the nation’s first government-initiated lawsuit to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in creating the opioid epidemic.
Brought on behalf of the People of the State of California, the lawsuit alleges that the opioid manufacturers engaged in a sophisticated and deceptive marketing campaign to promote opioids for use in treating chronic pain while knowingly downplaying the risks, leading to an explosion of opioid prescriptions and widespread opioid addiction and abuse. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to prevent such practices in the future, civil penalties, and abatement of the public nuisance created by the overwhelming increase in opioid abuse and addiction.
The Oakland City Attorney and Los Angeles County Counsel joined the lawsuit in 2018, and the trial is currently set for June 2020 in Orange County Superior Court. The case is People of the State of California v. Purdue Pharma, et al., Orange County Superior Court, Case No. CGC-13-534108.