Rochester files $75M lawsuit over opioid crisis

Suing 21 drug makers and distributors in federal court.

Posted: May 20, 2019 1:02 PM
Updated: May 20, 2019 1:23 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The City of Rochester is suing 21 drug manufacturers and distributors over the harm done to the city and its residents by the explosion in opioid abuse.

“Today, the City of Rochester filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota seeking redress for the societal and financial harm it has suffered at the hands of those directly responsible for the opioid crisis — the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids,” says City Attorney Jason Loos. “The City is seeking compensatory damages and injunctive relief for the City from the manufacturers and distributors of opiates.”

The 156 page lawsuit is asking for $75 million in damages under the RICO act. It states Rochester is seeking “to eliminate or, at a minimum, reduce the imminent threat to public health and safety in Rochester caused by the opioid epidemic…”

“As every Rochester resident knows, our community has been uniquely and disproportionately impacted by the opioid crisis plaguing our country today,” says Loos. “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.”

City officials say Rochester has hired a coalition of law firms to handle this matter at no expense to taxpayers. The litigation will be led locally by the Minnesota firm of Hoff Barry P.A. National trial counsel will be the complex litigation boutique law firms Keller Lenkner LLC and Consovoy McCarthy PLLC.

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