Madison County Circuit Judge Ralph Mendelsohn has set a hearing next June 28 on certification of an OxyContin lawsuit as a class action.

Plaintiff Connie Mester claims that Abbott Labs and its affiliates violated state consumer fraud law in marketing OxyContin.

Her attorney, James Rosemergy of Carey and Danis in St. Louis, wrote that, “In their quest to sell the addictive and dangerous drug, defendants used highly misleading and improper tactics, misrepresented the appropriate use of OxyContin, and failed to disclose and discuss the safety issues and potential adverse effects of OxyContin.”

Rosemergy wrote that the misrepresentations resulted in “excessive, inappropriate and unnecessary prescriptions.”

The suit started in 2002 as lead plaintiff Mary Renner moved to represent a plaintiff class. She dismissed her claims in 2004, and Mester replaced her as lead plaintiff.

Mester has not moved to represent the class. Mendelsohn, in an Oct. 13 order, set a Jan. 13 deadline for her motion.

Mendelsohn set deadlines of March 15 for Abbott Labs to oppose the motion, April 14 for Mester to reply, and May 1 for Abbott Labs to rebut.

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