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Judge: Tennessee case against Purdue Pharma can move forward

FILE - This May 8, 2007 file photo shows the Purdue Pharma offices in Stamford, Conn. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, the company, whose prescription opioid marketing practices are being blamed for sparking a nationwide overdose and addiction crisis says it’s helping to fund an effort to make a lower-cost overdose antidote. (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A lawsuit claiming Purdue Pharma engaged in deceptive marketing to increase opioid prescriptions, resulting in an epidemic, has the go-ahead from a Knox County judge.

The lawsuit brought by the state of Tennessee claims Purdue’s marketing violates the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and constitutes a public nuisance. Tennessee says the government has borne the cost of the opioid epidemic through increased demand for law enforcement, emergency services, addiction treatment and social services.

Purdue, in a motion to dismiss the suit, argues that the company’s actions cannot be linked to the problems the state wants to hold it responsible for. It also says other parties are to blame, such as the doctors who prescribed the opioids.

In a ruling, Knox County Circuit Court Judge Kristi Davis denied the company’s motion Friday.

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