A Massachusetts Superior Court Judge has denied a motion by Publicis Health to toss a lawsuit filed in May by state Attorney General Maura Healy alleging the healthcare agency group designed and deployed “unfair and deceptive marketing schemes” to help Purdue Pharma sell the highly addictive opioid OxyContin.
The state is seeking potentially hundreds of millions in damages.
The agency argued that Healy’s complaint contained “no facts that tie Publicis Health” to any misconduct.
It also asserted that ad firms are not legally responsible for the content of its clients’ ads. And it denied acting in an “unfair, deceptive or otherwise unlawful way” as asserted by the Massachusetts AG.
The healthcare agency also argued the complaint focuses on campaigns that were “largely complete” by 2014 — and the statute of limitations bars any claims like those submitted by the state for any conduct before May 2016.
But the court ruled the Commonwealth's complaint pleads nonspeculative claims for public nuisance and violations and “credible evidence has been presented that would support a finding that Publicis was a "consultant" to Perdue, which would make all claims asserted in the complaint” timely under state law.