Quebec court approves class action alleging opioid makers misled users about risks |

A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class-action lawsuit against 16 pharmaceutical companies that are alleged to have misled consumers about the efficacy and dangers of opioid medications.

The class action includes everyone in Quebec who was diagnosed with opioid use disorder after being prescribed opioid medications made by the pharmaceutical companies between 1996 and the present.

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Margo Siminovitch, one of the lawyers representing people who developed opioid use disorder, says the lawsuit’s representative plaintiff was never warned about the risks of the drugs.

Jean-François Bourassa, a roofer, was prescribed opioids after a fall on the job in 2005 and used them for more than a decade, developing an addiction.

The pharmaceutical companies argued against allowing the class action to proceed, saying it treated all opioids as if they were the same and included companies whose drugs the representative plaintiff never consumed.

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The suit seeks $30,000 in damages for each member of the class, plus additional damages to be determined on an individual basis, as well as $25 million in punitive damages.

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