In a hearing Oct. 18, plaintiffs will try to show Purdue Pharma misled federal regulators and urged physicians to prescribe the painkiller OxyContin, even though the pharmaceutical knew the drug was dangerously addictive.

Madison County Associate Judge Richard L. Tognarelli will hear 31 cases involving the prescription drug. All plaintiffs are represented by the Simmons Cooper law firm of East Alton, which filed the suits in December 2003.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered Purdue to cease marketing the drug on March 11, 2002.

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