During a May 15 press conference, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Purdue Pharma over the marketing and selling of opioids, including OxyContin.
Sales of Purdue Pharma opioids are worth billions of dollars every year nationwide.
US state attorneys general of Nevada, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee also said Purdue Pharma violated state consumer protection laws by falsely denying or downplaying the addiction risk while overstating the benefits of opioids.
Stenehjem says at least 251 people have died from opioid overdoses in North Dakota.
"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally made a decision to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said in a statement.
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"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally made a decision to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a release that the company "repeatedly deceived prescribers and patients in pursuit of profits".
"It resulted in large measure from a company's decision to aggressively and deceptively market OxyContin and misrepresent the most serious side effect of opioids-addiction", the suit states. He says proceeds from the lawsuit should be devoted to opioid treatment programs.
Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office.
Earlier this month, four out of five North Dakota tribal nations have filed lawsuits against 24 opioid manufacturers and distributors that allege devastating public health effects from the opioid epidemic and seek monetary damages.