Mesa County joins lawsuit against Purdue Pharma over opioid crisis

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Mesa County joining in on a national lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company over its sale and distribution of opioids.

It's just one of the many local governments across the state suing Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma. The suit alleges the company is partly responsible for the opioid epidemic. It also alleges that they were fully aware their painkillers were right on par with heroin. There were more than a dozen opioid related deaths in Mesa County last year. More recently, the Grand Junction Police Department responded to more than six opioid overdoses in just one week.

"We also have problems and we face challenges for people addicted to opioids and other drugs. So in order to share in some of those proceeds, which are going to be distributed out, you need to participate in it," said Scott McInnis, Mesa County Commissioner.

If a settlement is reached, those part of the suit will receive money to deal with their local opioid crisis. Then attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, also filed a separate lawsuit against the company last September.

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