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Nessel says more drug company lawsuits to be filed in 2020

Dana Nessel
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office will file more lawsuits in 2020 against drug companies that distribute opioids.

She is using a law that seeks damages from drug dealers to help pay for the harm they cause.

Nessel has already filed a lawsuit naming four companies that distribute opioids. She says this case and ones that are still being prepared allege drug companies distributed addictive painkillers without regard for the harm they were causing.

Nessel says she’s hoping the drug companies will settle quickly rather than go to trial.

“The crisis is real and it’s pressing, and if I had my druthers, I mean, I don’t want to wait five or 10 years,” she said.

Nessel says the settlement could yield the biggest damages to address a public health crisis in Michigan since the national tobacco company settlement of the 1990s.

The companies already targeted have not filed responses to the first round of lawsuits. But an industry spokesman says the companies acted legally and ethically.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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