My Fellow Kentuckians:
I am proud to have been one of the first Attorneys General to argue that reckless overprescribing and distribution of opioids was a public nuisance that was killing Kentuckians.
This week an Oklahoma jury agreed that this conduct is reprehensible and entered a $572 million dollar judgment against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries for this dangerous public nuisance. This new cutting-edge approach to attack the opioid manufacturers and distributors for their crimes against our communities was developed by me and my team in the Attorney General’s office.
Today I am still one of the attorneys prosecuting the drug manufacturers in Kentucky and across the South. I want to make them pay for what they have done to our state.
Data from 2013 onward shows that Kentucky has the third-highest drug overdose death rate in the United States, with 23.6 per 100,000 people suffering drug overdose fatalities in 2013 alone. Kentucky has one of the highest prescription rates for opiates in the nation – a ranking I will fight to change.
As Attorney General, I will stand up for Kentuckians against the drug manufacturers who have harmed our people and created a danger for all of us – a job I have done before with great success. The law requires that we prosecute this awful conduct and recover funds to help our cities and counties fund prevention and treatment. As your lawyer, I will represent the people of Kentucky and not the drug manufacturers.
In 2007, Attorney General Greg Stumbo filed suit against Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin in the first lawsuit in the country to attempt to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their role in the opioid abuse crisis that has swept through Kentucky and the nation. That case served as an example for subsequent cases filed all over the US, including the most recent case in Oklahoma against Johnson and Johnson
Attorney General candidate Greg Stumbo remains committed to finishing what he started against these companies and ensuring they pay for the harm they have caused the state of Kentucky. These lawsuits could end up in huge sums of money coming back to the state — money that could be used for programs for prevention, treatment, and education to help address the problem of addiction in the state of Kentucky.