November 30, 2017 04:19 PM
A team of Minnesota county attorneys gathered in St. Paul Thursday morning to announce the filing of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
The attorneys from Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis, Mower, Washington and Olmstead counties all said the lawsuits being filed in state and federal court are against three big manufacturers and several distributors of opioids.
The defendants are accused of not complying with federal and state laws to collect "outrageous profits" at the expense of addicted patients.
"We've had enough of the fraudulent marketing and negligent distribution of opioids," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. "All of us have been struggling with the devastating effects they've had on our communities."
Orput said the attorneys, in separate lawsuits, plan to prove that when marketing went up, so did heroin and opioid addictions. With drug courts filled up, social services stretched thin and addicted people dying of overdoses, Orput said it's time opioid manufacturers and distributors pay to clean up the crisis.
"It's so bad that when my phone rings at night I go into post-traumatic stress, because it'll be something like the sheriff calling and saying, 'Another dead kid, Pete, another dead kid,'" Orput said. "How many (are) enough?"
Orput added more county attorneys throughout the state are on-board. So more lawsuits are expected in the coming weeks and months.
Updated: November 30, 2017 04:19 PM
Created: November 30, 2017 12:16 PM
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