Government officials in Winnebago County announced Tuesday they are taking aim at the pharmaceutical industry in the fight against opioid abuse.
Rockford and County officials said they intend to pursue legal action against companies they believe helped enable the growing opioid addiction crisis.
In Illinois, more people died in 2014 from drug overdoses than homicides or motor vehicle accidents. Drug overdose deaths in Winnebago County nearly tripled in 10 years -- from 33 in 2006 to 96 in 2016.
City and county officials said they will sue pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers to recover some of the costs of dealing with the crisis. They said drug companies ignored measures aimed at preventing illegal overprescribing of opioids.
An Edwardsville law firm has been hired to pursue the case in U.S. District Court.