SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico's Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma accusing the drugmaker of causing an opioid crisis in the U.S. territory.
Officials said Wednesday that they are seeking to hold the company responsible for all government costs incurred as a result of the damage opioids have caused. The suit also accuses the company of misrepresenting the risk of abuse and addiction, among other things.
The lawsuit says that opioid distribution more than doubled in Puerto Rico from 1999 to 2013 and that 1,661 fatal overdoses were reported from January 2007 to March 2016.
A Purdue Pharma spokesman denies the allegations and says the company is collaborating to solve the abuse crisis.
Dozens of states, cities and counties in the U.S. mainland have filed similar lawsuits.