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Bondi Continues To Prepare For Potential Opioid Lawsuit


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is continuing to prepare for a potential lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

Florida is one of many states considering taking legal action against drug makers for damages related to the rising health care and law enforcement costs of the opioid crisis.

“The pharmaceuticals [companies] - I firmly believe of course - have a lot to bear,” Bondi said. “The distributors who are distributing this junk to our kids, to our families – it’s out there, it’s everywhere.”

Bondi spoke outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Tampa Wednesday after she attended a speech by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on national efforts to combat opioid addiction.

She said Florida has not sued the drug companies she blames for helping start the crisis, yet, because it's working with other states to try and reach a settlement.

"Do I see us getting anywhere? No,” Bondi said. “So we've now set an application process for outside counsel to come in – that period has closed, and we're going to be interviewing within the next couple weeks."

Bondi hasn't said what it would take her to convince her to actually move forward with the state’s own legal action.

Meanwhile the number of cases municipalities are filing against opioid makers is growing almost daily.

This week, Osceola County signed on to a national lawsuit against more than 20 pharmaceutical companies, making it the first county in Florida to sue.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.