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In latest clash with governor, AG Jeff Landry seeks control of state's opioid lawsuit

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John Bel Edwards | Jeff Landry John Bel Edwards | Jeff Landry

Louisiana Attorney General moved late Monday to take control of the Edwards’ administration lawsuit claiming pharmaceutical companies are responsible for an opioid crisis that has caused thousands of overdose deaths, The Advocate reported..

Landry wants to expand the lawsuit and formally hire Mike Moore, the former Mississippi Attorney General who shepherded a national action against tobacco manufacturers in 1990s that settled for billions of dollars.

Landry’s office asked the 19th Judicial District Court Monday night to allow the attorney general “to supersede” the Louisiana Department of Health in a lawsuit filed Sept. 27 against 17 pharmaceutical firms. The LDH lawsuit before Judge Wilson Fields, of Baton Rouge, claims drug manufacturers tried to maximize profits through an orchestrated campaign to flood Louisiana with opioid-based prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Landry was unaware of the LDH lawsuit until after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ lawyers had filed it. Since January 2016 when both took office, the Republican attorney general and the Democratic governor have squared off several times on issues from legal protections for transgender people to litigation budgets to who can hire what attorneys.

Read the full story at The Advocate.

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