Vermont's lawsuit against Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma will proceed after a judge denied the company's request to toss out the state's claim that Purdue used deceptive tactics to market the drug.
Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Helen Toor was unmoved by Purdue's argument, among others, that the suit should be dismissed because the opioid epidemic the drugmaker fueled isn't a "public nuisance" under Vermont law.
"It cannot be seriously argued that the impacts of opiate addiction in Vermont have not affected the general public," Toor wrote in a March 18 ruling.
In a Thursday press release, Attorney General T.J. Donovan called the ruling "an important step toward holding Purdue responsible for its contribution to the creation of the opioid crisis.”
Donovan's office filed suit against Purdue last September, claiming the company should be forced to pay as Vermont works to contain the consequences of opioid addiction.
Vermont is one of numerous states, counties and cities pursuing Purdue in court over its role in the public health crisis. Donovan has said he filed suit after settlement talks between Purdue, Vermont and other states broke down.