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Washington Seeks Over $38 Billion From Opioid Distributors

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FILE - Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson looks on during a news conference in Seattle on Dec. 17, 2019. Ferguson rejected a half-billion-dollar settlement offer, and now he's taking the state's case against the nation's three biggest drug distributors to trial Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. He says they must be held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is taking the state’s case against the nation’s three biggest drug distributors to trial Monday. Ferguson had rejected a half-billion-dollar settlement offer. He says they must be held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. But his gamble isn’t without risk, as a loss by three California counties in a similar case this month demonstrates. The attorney general’s office sued McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. in 2019, alleging they made billions off the opioid epidemic by shipping huge amounts of prescription painkillers into the state even when they should have known those drugs were fueling addiction. The companies deny wrongdoing.

 

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