MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) The Dakota County attorney’s office filed a lawsuit Thursday against drug companies for wrongful practices contributing to the opioid crisis.

Dakota County Attorney James C. Backstrom sued pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market opioid painkillers.

The 95-page lawsuit seeks recovery of costs incurred by Dakota Country and its taxpayers to respond to the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit alleges the companies engaged in deceptive marketing practices and encouraged doctors to prescribe opioid drugs for chronic, long-term pain while not disclosing their addictive nature.

The county attorney’s office states that other drug manufacturers followed their lead thus, violating Minnesota’s False Claims Act, Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, False Statements in Advertising Law, Unlawful Trade Practices Act, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as creating a public nuisance, fraudulent and intentional misrepresentation, negligence and unjust enrichment.

The Motley Rice Law Firm of Washington, D.C. and the Minneapolis law firm of Criol and Benson will assist the county attorney’s office in this suit.

Backstrom said the pharmaceutical companies must be held accountable for knowingly or negligently creating the opioid crisis through their irresponsible business practices.

He said the opioid epidemic started with Purdue Pharma L.P. and its related corporate entities promoting opioids illegally to increase revenue for Purdue’s private owners, the Sackler family.

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