Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

The Ferguson File a monthly e-newsletter from attorney general bob ferguson

attorney general bob ferguson Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Many government agencies slow down during the holiday season – but my team never stops working on behalf of Washingtonians. We had a busy December and I want to share a few highlights with you.

Crossing the $1B threshold in our fight to combat the opioid epidemic. We announced five additional resolutions with drug companies, bringing the total recoveries to more than $1.1 billion that I am ensuring must be used to address the ongoing opioid epidemic, including the Fentanyl crisis. My office has been the most aggressive in the country in fighting for accountability and the resources we need to help our communities address the problem. On the same day I announced that the $1.1 billion milestone, I announced three more lawsuits against corporations who helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

Protecting your right to post negative reviews. We all rely on reviews to make important consumer decisions – especially when those decisions involve health care. I filed a lawsuit against Allure Esthetic, a Seattle-based plastic surgery clinic, for bribing and threatening patients to falsely inflate its online ratings. Prospective patients rely on these reviews to determine if a provider is right for them, and using threats and bribery to manipulate reviews isn’t just wrong — it’s illegal. 

Combating illegal robocalls. I announced that I am proposing legislation to combat illegal robocalls. Illegal robocalls cost Washingotnians I’m proud to work with Rep. Mari Leavitt on this legislation. It is part of the anti-robocalling initiative that I launched last year to combat fraudulent, harassing, and illegal robocalls.

Holding irresponsible gun manufacturers accountable. I announced two bills for the upcoming legislative session to prevent mass shootings gun violence. For the seventh year I am leading the effort to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons. I will not stop until it passes. The second is a new proposal that requires gun manufacturers and retailers to act responsibly by taking reasonable steps to prevent their products from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals. In 2005, Congress gave irresponsible gun manufacturers and sellers immunity from civil lawsuit – it’s time to treat them like every other industry and hold them accountable when their conduct causes harm. That’s what my bill does.

Enforcing our new law banning the sale of high-capacity magazines. This year the Legislature passed my legislation banning the sale, manufacture, import, and distribution of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Then my office conducted a sweep of gun dealers across the state. The overwhelming majority are complying with the law, but my office filed two lawsuits this month against firearm dealers that sold my investigators high-capacity magazines.

Combating domestic violence extremism. My office published a report on domestic violent extremism that has been called “a model for the nation”. The report advocates for a holistic public health approach to addressing the rise in white supremacy, polarization, and radicalization that we’re seeing. It recommends a standing commission in my office to address these issues. Read the report here.

Finally, as we wrap up 2022, let me leave you with three statistics that encapsulate some of the great work my team is doing on your behalf:

  1. 20. We achieved many large legal victories on behalf of Washingtonians in 2022. We won 20 cases that recovered more than $500,000 – for a total of more than $1.3B. The overwhelming majority of these recoveries fund new services for Washingtonians and direct restitution for individuals who were harmed.

  1. 8. In 2012, my legal team won 8 sexually violent predator trials. Consequently, 8 of the most dangers sex offenders in our state remain confined at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island instead of at-large in the community.
  2. 4. My team helped solve four cold cases in 2022 by working with local law enforcement though our forensic DNA program. We hope to devote even more resources to solving cold cases in 2023. I am proposing a Cold Case Investigations Unit in my office focused on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People cases.

Thank you for following. We are looking forward to continuing to work on your behalf in 2023. I wish you and your family a wonderful New Year!


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Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General

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