Washington seeks over $38 billion from opioid distributors

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has taken the state’s case against the nation’s three biggest drug distributors to trial. The trial started Monday after Ferguson rejected a half-billion-dollar settlement. He says they must be held accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. 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 when they should have known those drugs were fueling addiction. The companies deny wrongdoing.