Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Aug 9 2021

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement after two key legal victories on Friday in Washington’s case against opioid distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

“We won two more key victories in our case against the three largest opioid distributors for their role fueling the opioid epidemic by shipping hundreds of thousands of suspicious orders into Washington state.

“On Friday, a King County judge rejected their attempt to dismiss our Consumer Protection Act claim, and ruled that there is no time period that limits the consumer protection penalties we seek in this case. We assert that these companies violated our Consumer Protection Act in multiple ways over more than a dozen years — and now they are facing potential penalties for every single one.

“Moreover, the judge rejected their efforts to deflect responsibility for their conduct onto others. These Fortune 15 companies tried to evade responsibility for their misconduct by claiming that Washington state did not pass laws preventing them from shipping massive amounts of opioids into our state. Claiming that public agencies should have stopped them sooner is like a burglar blaming the police for not arresting him before he committed the crime — it’s absurd and appalling. Judge Michael R. Scott dismissed all the defenses these corporations planned to present at trial blaming the state for the opioid crisis.

“My outstanding trial team argued both motions and won. Our trial is scheduled for September. We will hold these companies accountable for the devastation they caused.”

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Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

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