5 New Mexico counties sue consulting firm for role in opioid epidemic

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Five New Mexico counties are suing a global consulting firm, claiming it helped fuel the deadly opioid epidemic in the state.

The lawsuit has been filed by Grant, Roosevelt, Sandoval, Rio Arriba and Mora counties against McKinsey & Company.

The counties are accusing the consulting company of racketeering, saying the firm caused financial damages to emergency, law enforcement, and child protective services used to combat opioid addiction and overdoses.

The lawsuit says the company served as the outside marketing arm for Purdue Pharma and for years helped create marketing strategies to boost sales of the opioid painkiller OxyContin.

A spokesperson for McKinsey sent is this statement in response to the lawsuit:

"We will defend ourselves against cases brought by the plaintiffs’ bar, including those brought on behalf of municipalities, relating to our past work for opioid manufacturers. McKinsey believes that work was lawful and has denied allegations to the contrary. The recent settlements with state attorneys general provided us an opportunity to be part of the solution to the opioid epidemic and contained no admission of wrongdoing or liability."