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County Attorney seeks opioid damages

DAKOTA COUNTY — Dakota County has joined the series of Minnesota lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for opioid-related damages.

Attorney James Backstrom announced Aug. 16 that his office has filed a suit against pharmaceutical companies that make and market Oxycodone, Fentanyl and morphine drugs, including Purdue Pharma L.P.

Over 20 Minnesota counties are involved in opioid-related lawsuits. Ramsey and Washington filed in November 2017. The Dakota County Board voted last December to pursue a case.

The Motley Rice Law Firm of Washington, D.C.. and the Minneapolis law firm of Briol and

Benson are representing the county in this lawsuit.

There were 26 opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2016, according to a news release from December when the county had voted to pursue charges. The number is double the amount of opioid overdose deaths from a decade earlier.

A press release from the Dakota County Attorney's Office said they fighting the deceptive marketing campaigns that encourage doctors to prescribe more than needed or prescribing the drug long term.

The county alleges that what these companies did is in violation of Minnesota's False Claims Act, Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, False Statement in Advertising Law, Unlawful Trade Practices Act and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.