Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The City of Rochester has joined the legal fight against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid crisis. City Attorney Jason Loos today announced Rochester has filed a lawsuit in federal court against a list of manufacturers and distributors of the addictive painkillers.

“As every Rochester resident knows, our community has been uniquely and disproportionately impacted by the opioid crisis plaguing our country today. By filing this lawsuit, the Mayor and the City Council are making it clear that our community will not simply acquiesce in the harms the people of Rochester have already suffered, and will continue to suffer, while the defendant manufacturers and distributors continue to profit from their sales and distribution of highly addictive drugs.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages from over 20 companies as "redress for this societal and financial harm" the community has suffered in the hands of those directly responsible for the opioid crisis. The court documents do not specify a dollar amount for the damages but reference millions of dollars spent by the city in its response to the opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit accuses the opioid manufacturers and distributors of false, deceptive, and unfair marketing that fall under federal racketeering laws. It also accuses the pharmaceutical companies of failing to stop playing the suspicious orders of the drugs and contends the damages caused to drug users and their communities were foreseeable and continued because of the reckless, intentional, and unlawful acts of omission allegedly committed by Purdue Pharma and other firms involved in making and selling opioids.

The lawsuit is similar to lawsuits filed by the number of other cities and states, including Minnesota and Olmsted County. Loos says Rochester has retained, at no expense to the City or its taxpayers, a coalition of law firms to prosecute the case on its behalf.

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