Multnomah County is suing nearly two dozen pharmaceutical drug makers after declaring the wrongful distribution of opioids a public nuisance last week.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Multnomah County says drug manufacturers downplayed the risk of addiction, fueling an addiction epidemic.
The county is suing 23 national drug companies including Perdue Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, along with Oregon doctors who prescribed the drugs.
In the lawsuit, Multnomah County says more than half of all people brought to the county jail have substance abuse problems and many of them require treatment for acute opioid withdrawals or infections stemming from abuse.
The county is asking for $250 million, saying the drugs created a public nuisance, abnormally dangerous activity and the companies engaged in fraud and deceit.