Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., 110419 MASUP, 1884CV01808

Docket Nº:1884CV01808
Opinion Judge:Janet L. Sanders Justice of the Superior Court
Party Name:Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Purdue Pharma, L.P. et al.[1]
Judge Panel:Judge (with first initial, no space for Sullivan, Dorsey, and Walsh):Sanders, Janet L., J.
Case Date:November 04, 2019
Court:Superior Court of Massachusetts
 
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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

v.

Purdue Pharma, L.P. et al.[1]

No. 1884CV01808

Superior Court of Massachusetts, Department of Trial Court, Suffolk

November 4, 2019

File Date: November 6, 2019

Judge (with first initial, no space for Sullivan, Dorsey, and Walsh):Sanders, Janet L., J.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON THE DEFENDANT DIRECTORS’ RULE 12(b)(6) MOTION TO DISMISS

Janet L. Sanders Justice of the Superior Court

The Commonwealth commenced this action against Purdue Pharma, L.P. and Purdue Pharma, Inc. (Purdue) seeking redress for the harms Purdue allegedly caused when it deceptively marketed and sold its opioid products in Massachusetts. The First Amended Complaint (Complaint), asserts claims under G.L.c. 93A and for public nuisance, and in addition to Purdue, names as defendants current and former Purdue directors, three CEOs, and a vice president of sales. This Court has already issued decisions on: 1) Purdue’s Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, dated September 16, 2019 (Purdue Decision); 2) the directors’ and Executives’ Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) Motions to Dismiss, dated October 8, 2019 (Personal Jurisdiction Decision); and 3) Russell Gasdia’s Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, dated October 8, 2019 (the Gasdia Decision). This Memorandum addresses the directors’ Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (paper #85), which largely repeats the same arguments raised by these other motions.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the prior decisions as supplemented herein, this Court concludes that the Motion must be DENIED .2

The relevant background concerning the allegations against the directors and Purdue more generally is set forth in the Purdue Decision and the Personal Jurisdiction Decision, which this Court incorporates here by reference. To summarize, the Commonwealth alleges that members of the Sackler family, including Richard, Beverly, Ilene, Jonathan, Kathe, Mortimer, Theresa, and David Sackler, as well as outside directors Peter Boer, Paulo Costa, Cecil Pickett, Ralph Snyderman, and Judith Lewent, each personally participated in creating, directing, or approving deceptive and unfair marketing messages and materials sent into Massachusetts. It is this unfair and deceptive marketing of Purdue’s addictive opioid products— and OxyContin in particular— that the Commonwealth alleges was a substantial cause of the opioid crisis.

The standard that this Court applies to the instant Motion is well established. The plaintiff must allege, through more than "labels and conclusions[,] ... [f]actual allegations plausibly suggesting (not merely consistent with) an entitlement to relief." Iannacchino v. Ford Motor Co., 451 Mass. 623, 636 (2008) (citations omitted). This Court accepts these factual allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor. Sisson v. Lhowe, 460 Mass. 705, 707 (2011). Review is confined to the four corners of the complaint, with consideration of other materials appropriate only where the complaint attaches...

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