Dakota County Opioid Lawsuit

The process initiated earlier this year with an announcement by Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom that the Dakota County Board of Commissioners had authorized him to file a lawsuit that would hold pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market opioid painkillers responsible for what the suit alleges is deceptive marketing practices. Opioids are prescription pain medications such as oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine also known under brand names such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin.
The 95-page lawsuit was filed in Dakota County District Court and seeks recovery of costs incurred by Dakota County and its taxpayers to respond to the opioid drug crisis created in large part by the conduct of these companies. The suit continues that this drug abuse and overdose epidemic started with a decision by Purdue Pharma L.P. and its related corporate entities to promote opioids deceptively and illegally to significantly increase sales and generate billions of dollars in revenue for Purdue?s private owners, the Sackler family.
Additional drug manufacturers, then followed Purdue?s lead and collectively they engaged in actions that are violations of Minnesota?s False Claims Act, Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, False Statement in Advertising Law, Unlawful Trade Practices Act, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as creating a public nuisance, fraudulent and intentional misrepresentations, negligence and unjust enrichment. The Motley Rice Law Firm of Washington, D.C. and the Minneapolis law firm of Briol and Benson will assist the Dakota County Attorney?s Office in representing Dakota County in this lawsuit.
Backstrom and the Board of Commissioners have stated their dedication in raising awareness of the issues of substance abuse faced in Dakota County with resources already dedicated to cultivating evidence-based programs to both help addicts rehabilitate and prevent others from becoming addicted.

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