- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - Indiana’s second most-populous county and the city that’s home to Indiana University are joining a planned lawsuit that alleges pharmaceutical companies and distributors have played a role in fueling the opioid abuse crisis.

Lake County, in the northwest corner of the state, along with officials in Bloomington and the surrounding Monroe County signed off on agreements with an Indianapolis-based law firm to file the lawsuit. The agreements say that the lawsuit will seek to recover funds from the companies to cover costs that government entities have incurred because of epidemic.

“I think taxpayers are victims of this abuse,” said Lake County Commissioner Michael Repay, a Democrat who lives in Hammond. “There was wrongdoing on the part of these companies.”

Repay said he thinks the lawsuit, which has not been filed, and other similar litigation stand a chance.

The planned lawsuit alleges that drug distributors failed to report and stop suspicions orders of opioids. The city of Indianapolis filed a similar lawsuit in November, and several states and dozens of U.S. municipalities have also filed similar complaints.

Several of the accused companies have denied any wrongdoing, saying they also are trying to help solve the opioid abuse problem.

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