(CBS Connectict) — Waterbury, Bridgeport, and a handful of other cities and towns today are filing a lawsuit accusing drug companies of paying doctors to spread false information about the safety of opioid pain killers that the companies sold.

An attorney for the cities and towns, Paul Hanly says for a century, it was widely accepted in the medical community that the use of opioid narcotic painkillers was risky.

The companies include Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil-Janseen Phamaceuticals, and Endo Pharmaceuticals.

“What these companies did starting in 1995 was attempt to turn that accepted wisdom on its head,” Hanly said.

The communities say they have been ravaged by an increased opioid prescriptions that led to an explosion of opioid addiction.

The cities and towns argue that they have suffered directly because they pay for the coverage of employees and dependents who need treatment for addiction.

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