BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Putting aside political differences, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry have agreed to join forces in Louisiana's litigation against opioid manufacturers.
The pair has agreed that Landry's office will take point on the lawsuit filed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) in the 19th Judicial Court in Baton Rouge.
The AG's office will also lead the efforts to pursue all claims the state has as a result of the opioid crisis.
"The opioid crisis is sweeping the nation; and this is due, in large part, to the drug companies that mislead physicians and the public," Edwards said. "A coordinated effort from the State will produce the best results for the families who have lost loved ones to this epidemic. Justice for them is our number one priority."
"The Opioid Epidemic is one of the most challenging and complex problems facing our State," Landry added. "Tackling this problem will take a concerted effort on many fronts and joining together to coordinate this legal effort is in the best interest of the people of Louisiana."
According to the lawsuit, some drug companies helped fuel Louisiana's opioid epidemic through fraudulent marketing on the risks and benefits of prescription opioids.
LDH is seeking damages for what it has already paid out for excessive prescriptions and the cost of treatment that resulted from those prescriptions.
Several other states have filed similar lawsuits.