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Billion-Dollar Oxycontin Verdict Rests on Disputed Missed Deadline in Kentucky

A missed court deadline could result in a billion-dollar windfall for Kentucky taxpayers from the manufacturer of Oxycontin.

The state is suing Purdue Pharma for misrepresenting its prescription painkiller that resulted in a wave of addiction and increased medical costs across the state. The company had 45 days to respond to the state's claims. But in the middle of that window, the case was moved to federal court, and the deadline vanished.

More than five years later, the federal court sent the case back to Kentucky. State officials say that restarted the clock to respond. The deadline passed, and a judge ruled in the state's favor. But attorneys for Purdue Pharma argue the old deadline was not valid.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Thursday.