This story was updated May 15, 2018, at 10:19 p.m. with more information.
"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.
The lawsuit says Purdue pushed a message of "pseudo-addiction", marketing the idea that people engaged in drug-seeking behavior because they were not receiving enough opioids, and attempted to discredit non-opioid pain relievers by saying medications like aspirin or acetaminophen are riskier for chronic pain.
North Dakota and five other states are filing a lawsuit against a drug maker for overdose deaths. The attorneys general of five other states took similar legal action today against the Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant.
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Also, Nevada and the other litigating states continue to engage in ongoing settlement discussions with Purdue and other companies.
The Attorney General's Office said in a release Tuesday: "The state alleges that Purdue made unsubstantiated claims regarding the benefits of long-term opioids treatment, and falsely represented that opioid use improved patients' function and quality of life". Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas. A company spokesman added that the state lawsuits will bring costly and protracted litigation.
Separate litigation involving at least 433 lawsuits by USA cities and counties has been consolidated in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.
Florida also sued drugmakers Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc, Allergan, units of Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Mallinckrodt, as well as drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.